Joy Wiltermuth, and Sunny Oh
Dow marks fastest return from bear-market territory in about 30 years
Stocks clinched a fresh round of records Monday, as alarming U.S. COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations were overshadowed by promising vaccine developments.
The least-loved sectors and industries were given a boost as investors rotated away from shares of companies that thrived in the stay-at-home environment created by the pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 470.63 points, or 1.6%, to end at a record 29,952.22, after setting a new intraday high, to clinch its first record close since Feb. 2. The blue-chip index finished a mere 50 points from a milestone at 30,000.
The S&P 500 gained 41.76 points, or 1.2%, to close at a record 3,626.91. The Nasdaq Composite rose 94.84 points, or 0.8%, finishing at 11,924.13, its third-highest close on record.
The small-cap Russell 2000 also rose 2.1% to end at a record 1,785.34.
It was the first time that the Dow, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 each set new closing records on the same day since Jan. 22, 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Read:Dow marks fastest bear-market recovery in 30 years ()
In One Chart:Small-cap stocks 'remain pretty seriously underloved' despite vaccine-fueled gains ()
The "great rotation" away from growth-oriented technology stocks into downtrodden shares of companies that make goods and provide services, tethering them to the U.S. economic recovery, deepened on Monday.
"Value is rocking and rolling and it's up because of the vaccine news," said Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist at Capitol Securities Management. "That's showing, at least in my view, the underlying strength that might come back into the economy."
Moderna(MRNA) said its COVID-19 experimental vaccine cut COVID-19 infections by 94.5% (). The company said it plans to submit an Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks. Moderna shares rose 9.6%.
Last week's rally was inspired after Pfizer(PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX) on Nov. 9 announced that their vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in a late-stage trial.
"A vaccine was a dream in March, it's a near reality today. That may not help during the current surge, but it does promise relief by mid-2021," said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower Bridge Advisors.
The U.S. has been averaging 150,000 new cases a day, a soaring 81% increase from the average two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker (), and a trajectory that Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine called a pending "humanitarian catastrophe ( )," on CNN.
Even Sweden, known for its lax social-distancing requirements when compared with its Nordic neighbors, switched course and ordered a ban on public events () of more than eight people.
Tech shares and other stay-at-home beneficiaries slumped again Monday (lagging last week, but hard-hit industries and sectors, including airlines, energy, financials and retail, benefited.
Read: Stock-market investors are 'living through 3 transitions' and short-term volatility may be 'gut wrenching' ()
Deal-related news also was in focus, PNC Financial Services Group Inc.(PNC) agreed to buy the U.S. arm of Spain's BBVA in an $11.6 billion transaction, () the companies said Monday, in one of the largest bank tie-ups since the financial crisis. PNC shares rose 2.9%, while BBVA shares surged 12.6%.
Meanwhile, investors looked past what could be a tough period due to COVID-19 spread and a stalled transition of power, as President Donald Trump continued to refuse to accept the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Read:Dates to watch as Trump continues legal fight to overturn the presidential election result ()
President-elect Joe Biden spoke Monday after meeting U.S. business leaders on the economic recovery. "We are going into a very dark winter," Biden said, while emphasizing the need for infrastructure spending that creates jobs, as well as for Congress to come together and provide additional, urgent funding for states, cities and front-line workers during the pandemic.
"The S&P 500 is having its best November in decades," said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist for Ally Invest, in emailed commentary.
But Bell also said that it remains unclear if vaccine hopes will bolster consumer spending during the holidays "a crucial period" that "could provide clues into what the next leg of the economic recovery will look like."
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida on Monday outlined a broad new set of employments measures (be used by the central bank, including labor-force participation, to determine when the economy has returned to maximum employment and at what point to consider raising interest rates from its current range between 0% and 0.25%. Clarida also said he wasn't concerned with the recent rise ( ) in government bond yields.
In economic data, the New York Federal Reserve Bank's Empire State index (in at a reading of 6.3 from 10.5 in October.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note () rose 1.4 basis point to 0.906%. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index , a gauge of the greenback's strength against its major rivals, was down 0.2%.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed up 1.2%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index climbed 1.7%.
Crude-oil futures rose (), with the U.S. benchmark finishing up 3% at $41.34 a barrel. Meanwhile, gold futures ( ) rose $1.60. or 0.8%, to close at $1,887.80 an ounce.
--William Watts contributed reporting
-Joy Wiltermuth; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 16, 2020 16:54 ET (21:54 GMT)
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