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US Market climbs to new record on positive vaccine data

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The US stock market surged to a new record on Monday, 16 November 2020, as investors risk sentiments underpinned after a second set of upbeat results from a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index advanced 470.63 points, or 1.6%, to 29,950.44. The index closed only about 50 points below the 30,000 mark, a level it has not crossed in its history. The S&P 500 index increased 41.76 points, or 1.16%, to 3,626.91. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose by 94.84 points, or 0.8%, to 11,924.13.

The strength on Wall Street came following more upbeat news on the coronavirus vaccine front, with Moderna (MRNA) reporting positive results from a trial of its vaccine candidate. Moderna said in a statement that the first interim analysis of Phase 3 trial results showed its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective against coronavirus. Last week, Pfizer said that a vaccine it developed with German drugmaker BioNTech was more than 90% effective against Covid-19. There are dozens more potential vaccines in development, and the promising test results from Moderna and Pfizer suggest that vaccines may be an effective way to fight the coronavirus. Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.

Moderna said Monday that it expects to have roughly 20 million doses of its vaccine ready to ship in the United States by the end of this year. The company is on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021. Pfizer told last week that it expects to have 50 million vaccine doses globally this year, and 1.3 billion in 2021.

Positive data from a late-stage vaccine development lifted demand for sectors that usually benefit from an upswing in the economy.

Energy stocks turned in some of the market's best performances on the day, benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil. Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index skyrocketed by 8.9% and the NYSE Arca Oil Index soared by 6.6%. Steel stocks also showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 4%. Considerable strength was also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 5.7% spike by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. Banking, computer hardware and transportation stocks also saw significant strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

On the U. S. economic front, a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed New York manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded at a slower rate in the month of November. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to 6.3 in November from 10.5 in October. While a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity, economists had expected the index to rise to 13.5. Looking ahead, the index for future business conditions held steady at 33.9, suggesting that firms remained optimistic about future conditions.

Among Indian ADR, Vedanta added 2.22% to $5.99, Tata Motors rose 4.59% to $10.49, Azure Power Global added 2.08% to $28.98, Wipro added 0.79% to $5.10, INFOSYS added 1.11% to $15.46, HDFC Bank grew 1.18% to $68.72, and ICICI Bank jumped 2.05% to $13.45. Dr Reddys Labs fell 0.71% to $63.89 and WNS Holdings fell 0.22% to $67.48.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, November 17 2020. 07:49 IST