Wall Street set to jump as Pfizer says vaccine effective

Futures tracking the S&P 500 hit a record high as some see vaccine as a way to kickstart global growth

Futures tracking the S&P 500 hit a record high on Monday after US drugmaker Pfizer said its experimental vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data from a large study.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have found no serious safety concerns so far, and expect to seek US emergency use authorisation later this month.

S&P 500 futures soared 3.78 per cent, while Dow contracts jumped 4.69 per cet in response, almost doubling the day’s gains. Nasdaq 100 E-minis gained 2 per cent.

"This is very very important (news) because it validates the market view that the economy and earnings can receive that growth path that they had before the (COVID-19) crisis struck," said Andrea Cicione, Head of Strategy, TS Lombard, London. Many have seen some sort of a preventive medicine as the only way to kickstart a global economy struggling to find a way out of its worst downturn in decades.

"The bigger driver of the economic outlook is from the outside factors," said ING analyst Carsten Brzeski. "Right now that means the development of a vaccine. ... So we do see news like this as positive."

Overnight, US stock index futures got a boost after Joe Biden was declared the winner in a highly contentious election. Biden's victory in Pennsylvania on Saturday put him above the 270 Electoral College votes needed to secure the presidency, four days after Election Day, although President Donald Trump does not plan to concede anytime soon. – Reuters

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