Commenting on Pfizer’s COVID vaccine trial results and today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
Pfizer's COVID Vaccine Trial Results
The major indices are mixed and flat at midday following a choppy but active morning session on Wall Street. The most COVID sensitive industries and cyclicals got another boost this morning thanks to the final results of Pfizer’s (PFE, +1.9%) vaccine trial, which showed that their candidate is even more effective than previously thought, topping Moderna’s (MRNA, -2.9%) results too. The Volatility Index (VIX) hit an almost three-month low in early trading while global risk assets have been showing stability today as well, despite the near-record number of daily infections.
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Small-caps are having yet another great session, with the Russell 2000 outpacing its large-cap peers, and the index could be headed for a new all-time high this afternoon. This morning’s economic releases leaned bullish, as even though building permits slightly missed expectations housing starts were well above the consensus estimate and crude oil inventories rose by less-than-expected. The price of crude oil hit a one-week high in the wake of the report, and that could mean that the energy sector, which is up by more than 20% in two weeks will continue to lead the vaccine rally.
Dow: 29,901, + 117 or 0.4%
S&P 500: 3,616 + 6 or 0.2%
Nasdaq: 11,896, -3 or 0.02%
Russell 2000: 1,800, + 9 or 0.5%
Market breadth has been relatively strong this morning, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a 7-to-3 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 2 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 161 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been hovering around their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) throughout the morning session, pointing to a mixed and choppy afternoon. Financials and industrials have been spearheading the rally in the key cyclical sector, with energy stocks, materials, and consumer-related issues also registering gains, but the tech, communication services, and healthcare sectors have been lagging behind, reflecting the vaccine’s likely impact. Stay tuned!