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24 Aug 2021
2 min read

US Stocks Surge to Record Highs on Pfizer Vaccine Approval

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Key Takeaways

  • S&P500 jumps to a fresh intraday record, Nasdaq closes at a new all-time high
  • FDA’s approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine boosts investors’ confidence

US Stocks Surge to Record Highs

Major US stock benchmarks advanced to records boosted by a tech rally and the full approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by US regulators.

The S&P500 edged up 0.85%, or 37.86 points, to 4,479.53. The broader blue-chip index hovered at a fresh all-time intraday high during the afternoon hours of the trading session. The Nasdaq Composite sprinted 1.55%, or 227.99 points, to a new record close of 14,942.65.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.61%, or 215.63 points, to finish the session at 34,335.71. The Dow now floats less than 1% from its record high set on August 16.

The three main stock gauges were bolstered by the full approval for the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and partner company BioNTech by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Before receiving full approval for use, the vaccine was allowed under emergency use authorization. The step by the FDA is expected to decrease vaccine hesitancy among hold-outs and to convince them to get the shot.

President Joe Biden hailed the announcement and urged leaders from different private and public sectors to require workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“If you’re a business leader, a non-profit leader, the state and local leader, who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I’m calling on you now to do that, require it,” President Biden said in a statement on Monday.

A Strong Position for European Stock Indexes

Immediately after the full approval was announced by the FDA, New York City authorities said all public school teachers and staff would be required to get their jabs. The Pentagon would also make the vaccine mandatory for military service members. More employers across the states are expected to require their staff to get inoculated.

“I am hopeful this approval will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives and achieve herd immunity,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer Inc.

Meanwhile, the market’s upbeat mood was extended into today’s stock futures performance. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average hover in the green by more than 70 points. S&P500 futures and Nasdaq futures are positive by 0.20% and 0.50%, respectively.

Market participants will later in the week turn their focus on the main event, the Federal Reserve Jackson Hole symposium. High expectations are placed on the annual economic conference by the US central bank. Indeed, they may present fresh cues on when Fed policymakers may begin dialing back the Fed’s bond purchases. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to speak on Friday, while the three-day event starts a day earlier.

In Europe today, stock indexes opened higher following a strong upside swing on Monday. The Stoxx 600 ticked up by almost 2 points in the early hours today. While major European bourses were all modestly to the upside.

The price of bitcoin today is trading moderately higher. This comes after it jumped above $50,000 on Monday for the first time in three months. Bitcoin is presently changing hands at around $49,700 per coin, up less than 1% on the day.

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