Stocks surge to all-time high as Pfizer announces coronavirus vaccine; Stoxx Europe 600 Index rises 4.5%

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Updated: Nov 09, 2020 7:19 PM

The strongest gains in the market were among small-cap stocks, which have been hit hard by the economic toll of lockdowns.

sensex, niftyDuring the second half of the calendar 2020, the Nifty 50 index moved from strength to greater strength

The clearest sign yet of progress on a Covid-19 vaccine is fueling a rally across global stock markets. A vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE prevented more than 90% of infections in a study of tens of thousands of volunteers. The preliminary findings surprised scientists about the possible effectiveness of a vaccine and fueled speculation among investors that there could be a path out of the pandemic. The strongest gains in the market were among small-cap stocks, which have been hit hard by the economic toll of lockdowns. Futures on the Russell 2000 Index of small-cap stocks jumped 7% and S&P 500 contracts rose 4.2%. Nasdaq 100 Index futures pared gains, but were still up 0.5%.

“This is clearly an important day for the world,” said Matthew Hornbach, Morgan Stanley head of global macro strategy. “The vaccine has the power to really drive risk assets higher, credit spreads tighter, the equity market higher, emerging-market currencies stronger.” Investors pulled out of haven assets and poured cash into markets that are closely tied to economic growth. Treasuries dropped, with the 10-year yield climbing to 0.93%, and gold retreated. In currencies, the Australian dollar-yen cross — a commonly watched risk barometer  – surged by most since June. Oil in London jumped almost 10% to $43 a barrel.

The announcement heaped fuel on a rally that’s been running for the past week after the U.S. election. Markets have cheered Joe Biden’s win, speculating that a split Congress will bring legislative gridlock and few sweeping changes in U.S. policy. Analysts also said a better trade relationship with U.S.-China and another economic stimulus package could be in store. There’s precedence for the market’s gains to continue. Since 2000, every time the S&P 500 was higher heading into Election Day, November and December came in green, too. The first years of presidential terms have also been good ones of late. Since 1986, according to Leuthold Group data, they’ve seen average gains of 18.6%.

These are some key events coming up:

  • Brexit trade-deal talks between the U.K. and EU continue in London Monday
  • Tuesday is the EU’s target date for triggering tariffs on as much as $4 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation over illegal aid to Boeing Co.
  • Alibaba holds its annual Singles’ Day on Wednesday, an online global shopping phenomenon that had $38 billion of sales last year
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde, BOE Governor Andrew Bailey and Fed Chair Jerome Powell are among the speakers Thursday at an online ECB Forum entitled “Central Banks in a Shifting World”
  • Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 hold an extraordinary meeting Friday to discuss bolder action to help poor nations struggling to repay their debts.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index surged 3.4% as of 1:15 p.m. London time.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 4.5%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1.1%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index gained 1.7%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2% to 1,148.26.
  • The euro increased 0.1% to $1.1881.
  • The British pound rose 0.2% to $1.3168.
  • The Japanese yen weakened 1% to 104.95 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed 10 basis points to 0.92%.
  • The yield on two-year Treasuries gained one basis point to 0.17%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield jumped seven basis points to -0.56%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield climbed seven basis points to 0.347%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 7.7% to $40.99 a barrel
  • Gold weakened 1.9% to $1,894.17 an ounce.

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