Commenting on Moderna’s Coronavirus vaccine and with stocks hitting new 52-week highs in today’s trading, Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman said:
The major indices are all trading significantly higher at midday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 gaining the most ground. Similarly to last Monday, the week started out with a very promising Coronavirus vaccine announcement, this time by Moderna (MRNA, +9.7%), and the firm's candidate proved to be even more effective during its late-stage trial than Pfizer's (PFE, -4.1%) one. Over 94% of the participants developed antibodies according to the report, and since the vaccine is also easier to store and transport, the hardest-hit industries and cyclical issues got another major boost this morning.
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Stocks hit new 52-week
In economic news, the Empire State Manufacturing Index came in well below the consensus estimate, and even though its reading of 6.3 still points to growth, the momentum of the recovery seems to be weakening. The negative Chinese retail sales surprise has been weighing on Asian stocks before Moderna’s announcement, but global risk assets all turned higher together with U.S. equities later on. Despite the slightly bearish reports and the still alarming COVID numbers, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000 all well on track to close at record highs today.
Dow: 29,934, + 454 or 1.5%
S&P 500: 3,623 + 38 or 1.1%
Nasdaq: 11,900, + 71 or 0.6%
Russell 2000: 1,781, + 37 or 2.1%
Market breadth has been relatively strong this morning, with advancing issues outnumbering decliners by a 5-to-1 ratio on the NYSE at midday. Only 2 stocks hit new 52-week lows on the NYSE and the Nasdaq, while 167 stocks hit new 52-week highs. The major indices have been trading above their daily VWAPs (Volume-Weighted Average Price) for most of the morning session, pointing to intraday buying pressure. This morning's mimicked last Monday’s session et the level of the key sectors, with energy-related issues, industrials, and financials all showing relative strength, but on a positive note even tech stocks have been gaining ground and only consumer-related stocks being notably weaker. Stay tuned!