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Nasdaq touches record high; Dow, S&P 500 lifted by J&J

Stock MarketsDec 08, 2020 12:55PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader wearing a protective face mask walks, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the financial district of New York

By Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow reversed course to rise on Tuesday, led by drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) following encouraging news on its COVID-19 vaccine, while the Nasdaq hit a record high.

Johnson & Johnson gained 1.9% after the company said it could obtain late-stage trial results of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine it is developing, earlier than expected.

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) also rose 3.2% as it cleared the next hurdle in the race to get its COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use, after the U.S. health regulator released documents raising no new safety or efficacy issues.

Wall Street's main indexes have traded in a tight range for most of the session so far, as investors awaited more stimulus in the face of surging COVID-19 cases and strict restrictions in California.

"When you are in a market where there is so much near-term negative news because of the virus, but so much future positive news because of the vaccine ... you do get into this tug of war," said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Jersey.

"We are at that equilibrium point where there are as many optimists as pessimists about where the market is headed in 2021"

Investors are closely watching whether policymakers will be able to clinch an agreement on a long-awaited coronavirus relief bill and a $1.4 trillion spending bill, with Friday eyed as a deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

The U.S. Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap funding bill to provide more time for lawmakers to reach a deal on both spending and pandemic relief.

Positive developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine have in the recent weeks helped investors look past the surge in infections and raise bets on a steady economic recovery next year.

Analysts now expect investor attention to gradually shift from vaccine approvals to their global distribution.

"I don't know if investors are recognizing how long the process is going to take, but the market tends to look out a little more than the very near term. Right now it is predicting that there will be a good distribution system in place some time by the middle of next year," Meckler said.

At 12:21 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 88.62 points, or 0.29%, at 30,158.41, the S&P 500 was up 5.21 points, or 0.14%, at 3,697.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 5.85 points, or 0.05%, at 12,525.79.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co slipped 0.6% after company data showed the planemaker lost another 63 orders for its newly ungrounded 737 MAX jet in November.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc fell 1.9% after the electric-car maker unveiled a $5 billion capital raise, its second such move in three months.

Drug developer Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc climbed 4.2%, after Switzerland increased its confirmed orders for its COVID-19 vaccine doses to 7.5 million from 4.5 million.

Energy shares recovered some of the previous session's losses, even as crude prices remained under pressure.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.66-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.24-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

Nasdaq touches record high; Dow, S&P 500 lifted by J&J
 

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Comments (11)
RobinThe Hood
RobinThe Hood Dec 08, 2020 1:37PM ET
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The markets have rallied on vaccine news 83 times this year.
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Dec 08, 2020 1:34PM ET
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There might as well be 100 approved Covid19 vaccines. The Trumpers say there is no threatening virus, so why get the vaccine? And the Biden folks don’t have one bit of trust in Trump’s “Warp Speed” fast-to-market vaccine at the expense of safety and reliability, so why get the vaccine? The last number I saw was 45% of Americans will agree to get jabbed.
Alp Yörük
Alp Yörük Dec 08, 2020 1:21PM ET
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How funny you are let me remind you there are already 2-3 vaccines out, this story has been bought 2-3 times and another manuf comes into play and the markets rise again? :) :D Funny, let's ride more small investors onto the train,
Deborah Sbeghen
OfirSignals Dec 08, 2020 1:21PM ET
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exactly! what a sloppy argument for being bullish.
Om Prakaash P
Om Prakaash P Dec 08, 2020 1:12PM ET
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DOW GOING TO TOUCH 30281..
Radu Urjan
Radu Urjan Dec 08, 2020 1:04PM ET
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The big short part 2. It s like nobody learned anything from 2008
kishore Rath
kishore Rath Dec 08, 2020 12:52PM ET
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Market goes up
Venkatesh Goud
Venkatesh Goud Dec 08, 2020 12:49PM ET
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markets will fall again
Venkatesh Goud
Venkatesh Goud Dec 08, 2020 12:49PM ET
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markets will fall again
stu marshall
stu marshall Dec 08, 2020 12:38PM ET
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speculation, hype, and nasdaq driving this market. that is all
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Dec 08, 2020 12:38PM ET
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you forgot greed, ignorance and common sense
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Dec 08, 2020 11:12AM ET
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0.5% of infected people are in serious condition, worldwide. That's 100k people. Not much different from your regular flu season. But hey, let's lockdown the country and ***8 billion people over anyway.
Kang Myungjae
Kang Myungjae Dec 08, 2020 11:12AM ET
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Old generation would be wiped out by now if we just did not care about the virus. THINK BEFORE YOU TALK
Christine Streeter
Christine Streeter Dec 08, 2020 11:12AM ET
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old people know how to isolate. when a patient with cancer is immunocompromosed from chemo we don't make their neighborhood wear masks and socially isolate we make the cancer patient wear a mask and take precaution
Samui Lo
Samui Lo Dec 08, 2020 10:01AM ET
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As long as there is stimulus "Hope"all is well,
carolyn horton
carolyn horton Dec 08, 2020 10:01AM ET
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don't hold your breath on this.
 
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