Moderna Claims Its Covid Vaccine Is 94 Percent Effective: Stocks Rise To Record High On The News

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Written by Dana Sanchez
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Moderna Claims Its Covid Vaccine Is 94 Percent Effective: Stocks Rise On The News. Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

This article has been updated to reflect the Dow record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Monday after Massachusetts-based biotech firm Moderna announced that its experimental covid-19 vaccine was 94-percent-plus effective in Phase three trials and required less-stringent storage temperatures than previously reported.

Shares of Moderna went up almost 15 percent in premarket trading.

The Dow index of blue-chip companies reached an intraday record of 29942.88 and was up about 315 points or 1.1 percent at 29795 in recent trading. The Dow has never reached the 30000 mark, Wall Street Journal reported.

S&P 500 futures increased 1.1 percent after reaching a new high Friday and Nasdaq futures grew by 0.1 percent, CNN reported.

Pfizer announced a week ago that a vaccine developed with German drugmaker BioNTech was more than 90 percent effective in Phase two trials against covid-19. Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at a temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

By comparison, Moderna said its vaccine remains stable for up to 30 days at 36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit — the temperature of a standard home or medical refrigerator.

Monday’s rally included shares of some banks, retailers and travel stocks, Wall Street Journal reported. The Nasdaq Composite paused a trend from last week that saw investors selling shares of companies that benefited from consumers staying home and favored those that would benefit from the economy reopening.

U.S. stocks Zoom, Peloton, Amazon, and Home Depot were trending lower, Motley Fool reported. Canada’s top e-commerce stock, Shopify, was down by around 2 percent on the news.

Despite the optimism, investors are uncertain about how long it could take for the economy to benefit from a successful vaccine, according to James Athey, a senior investment manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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Moderna’s results didn’t change the consensus timeline for the rollout of a vaccine, Athey said, according to a Wall Street Journal report. “There’s a long way to go between Phase III results and a normal economy,” he said.

Axel Weber, chairman of UBS, told CNBC it will take at least a year to go back to pre-crisis levels of gross domestic product and another year or two to be anywhere near getting unemployment and pre-crisis growth back.

“We should not be under the illusion that it will happen fast. It will take some time,” he said.

Dozens of other potential vaccines are in development besides Moderna and Pfizer, which both require two doses.

When Pfizer announced its results a week ago, some U.S. stocks soared to all-time highs on Nov. 9.

The Moderna study enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the U.S. and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Pfizer, by comparison, said that its vaccine had nothing to do with President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed or the U.S. government.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS News’ Face The Nation, “I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy. When you get money from someone…that always comes with strings.”

The U.S. has reported 11,381,956 coronavirus cases and 251,965 deaths.