Stocks gained on Monday as sentiment was encouraged by new vaccine developments and Wall Street favored choices for President-elect Joe Biden's administration. Market participants have become more optimistic towards an accelerated economic recovery following the large-scale rollout of effective coronavirus vaccines, despite many health experts warnings of the grim winter and first quarter of 2021 that lies ahead.
On Monday, University of Oxford and AstraZeneca (AZN ) announced that their coronavirus vaccine candidate demonstrated 70.4% overall, but can provide as much as 90% protection from infection if a certain dosage is taken. This announcement follows the strong data from Pfizer (PFE )/BioNTech (BTNX ) and Moderna (MRNA ).
Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has planned to nominate Janet Yellen to be his U.S. Treasury Secretary. The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the potential pick. Yellen has served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, overseeing solid economic expansion following the financial crisis and is a Wall Street favorite.
Here's how the market settled to start the week:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): +0.57% or +20.12 points to 3,577.66
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): +1.12% or +328.38 points to 29,591.86
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): +0.22% or +25.66 points to 11,880.63
For Stocks, mega-cap tech names were pressured by positive coronavirus outlook: Amazon (AMZN ), Apple (AAPL ), Facebook (FB ), Google (GOOGL ), Microsoft (MSFT ) and Netflix (NFLX ). Snap (SNAP ) shares popped on Monday after the social media company unveiled their new Spotlight features, which is aimed to compete with ByteDance's TikTok and Instagram Reels. Reopening names like airlines and cruises gained on Monday following more positive vaccine news: American (AAL ), Carnival (CCL ), Delta (DAL ), Norwegian (NCLH ), Royal Caribbean (RCL ), Southwest (LUV ) and United (UAL ).
For Sector Performance, sectors on the S&P 500 ended the session mixed, with the few negative performers falling only slightly into the red. Energy (XLE ), which has extended its pattern of high gains and losses, was the lead performer, increasing over 7%. Financial (XLF ) and Industrials (XLI ) rounded out the top spots, gaining over 1%. Real Estate (XLRE ) was the biggest loser, falling 0.34%, while Health Care (XLV ) was not far behind, sinking 0.30%.
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) bounced off its recent low against other global currencies on Monday as vaccine sentiment remained high. The dollar index was weakened in earlier trade following AstraZeneca's positive vaccine news, but gained as investors were uncertainty due cloudy coronavirus outlook. The dollar index rose 0.2% to 92.60, after earlier declining to 92.013. Gold (GLD ) dipped on Monday after positive vaccine news and U.S. economic data boosted risk sentiment. Spot gold dropped 1.7% to $1,838.61 per ounce, while gold futures slipped 2% to $1,835.50 per ounce. Crude oil futures extended last week's gains on Monday as sentiment turned positive due to coronavirus vaccine outlooks and expectations that OPEC+ may extend a deal to retrain output to support ongoing levels of low demand. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) increased over 2% to $45.89 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (USO ) rose 1.51% to $43.06 per barrel. Both oil benchmarks gained 5% over the last week.
For Tuesday, investors will turn their attention to fresh data for consumer confidence as well as earnings from companies like Dollar Tree (DLTR ) and Best Buy (BBY ).