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U.S. Stocks Jump After Positive Moderna Vaccine Results

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U.S. stocks jumped Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on pace to set a new all-time-high as positive results from another potential Covid-19 vaccine lifted shares of companies that have been walloped by the pandemic.

The index of blue-chip companies rose about 380 points in recent trading, or 1.3%, leaving it within striking distance of the yet-to-be-reached 30000 mark. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% after settling Friday at a new record high.

Monday’s rally was broad, with shares of megacap technology companies rallying alongside banks, retailers and travel stocks. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.7%, pausing a trend from last week during which investors sold shares of companies that benefited from consumers staying home and favored those that would benefit from the reopening of the economy.

The moves came after Moderna said its experimental coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective at protecting people from Covid-19 in an early look at pivotal study results, making it the second vaccine to hit a key milestone. Last week,
Pfizer
and partner BioNTech said its vaccine proved better than expected at protecting people from Covid-19.

Moderna shares jumped 6.4%. Companies that stand to benefit from the reopening of the economy also climbed, with
United Airlines Holdings
rising 6.4% and cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group up 7%.

Other companies that have benefited from stay-at-home orders slipped, with
Zoom Video Communications
down 2.4% and Peloton Interactive falling 0.9%.

Despite the optimism around a vaccine, the rally could prove choppy as investors work out how long it could take for the economy to benefit from a successful inoculation, said James Athey a senior investment manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

“There’s a long way to go between Phase III results and a normal economy,” he said.

Moderna’s results didn’t change the consensus timeline for the rollout of a vaccine, Mr. Athey said. Markets expected a coronavirus vaccine to be approved between year-end and the middle of the first quarter of 2021, and for distribution to certain parts of the population to start before the middle of next year, he said.

Shares in Simon Property Group rose 8.3% after mall developer Taubman Centers agreed to accept a price cut in its takeover by the company. That will allow the two firms to avoid a drawn-out legal battle that was set to start Monday.

The vaccine results boosted hopes for a faster economic rebound, sending the yield on 10-year Treasurys to 0.907%, from 0.892% on Friday. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.3%, led by shares in banks and other sectors hard hit by the pandemic, such as oil and travel.

“There is a fundamental reason why equities are rising, which is a recovery that seems to be pretty solid, the prospect of more stimulus, and also the vaccine,” said Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Though questions remained about the efficacy and distribution of a vaccine, “for next year, everything seems to be actually moving in the right direction,” Mr. Paolini added.

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The U.S. reported more than a million coronavirus infections for the past week, including more than 133,000 Sunday, as the national total surpassed 11 million. The country also set a record for hospitalizations, with 69,987 reported Sunday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Commodities rallied after strong economic data out of China and Japan pointed to healthy demand for industrial metals. Chinese industrial production rose 6.9% in October from a year earlier. Data showed Japan’s economy grew by its fastest pace in 40 years in the third quarter.

Moderna said its experimental coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective at protecting people from Covid-19.

Moderna said its experimental coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective at protecting people from Covid-19.

Photo: Paul Hennessy/Zuma Press

Copper jumped 1.9% to its highest level since June 2018. U.S. crude prices rose 3.9% to $41.68 a barrel.

Asian stocks benefited from the signing of a major trade deal that includes China, Japan, South Korea and 12 other countries. The regional bloc covers around a third of global economic output.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.1% to log a fresh 29-year high. Indexes in Taiwan and South Korea rose by similar amounts to hit multiyear highs or records. The Shanghai Composite climbed 1.1%.

—Caitlin McCabe contributed to this report.

Write to Mischa Frankl-Duval at Mischa.Frankl-Duval@wsj.com and Frances Yoon at frances.yoon@wsj.com

A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine

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