U.S. Stocks Jump on Moderna Vaccine Progress


Wall Street stocks rose early Monday following upbeat news on a coronavirus vaccine and merger announcements in the banking and retail industries.

US biotech firm Moderna said its experimental vaccine against Covid-19 was almost 95 percent effective, a hopeful follow-up to a positive announcement last week by Pfizer on its own vaccine for the deadly virus. 

The Moderna news helped offset worries about the rising coronavirus outbreak in the near-term, lifting major indices in anticipation of an economic recovery.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.2 percent at 29,828.59.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to 3,611.49, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.5 percent to 11,890.44.

Analysts said sentiment was further boosted by announcements that Spain's BBVA would sell its US unit to PNC Financial Services for $11.6 billion, and The Home Depot's plan to acquire wholesaler HD Supply Holdings for $8 billion.

Major economic releases this week include retail sales, housing starts for October and earnings from Walmart.