U.S. stock indexes soared Monday on news that late-stage tests by drugmaker Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech showed that a vaccine for the coronavirus is 90% effective and could eventually be available around the world to halt the global pandemic.
In midafternoon trading, the bellwether Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 key stocks surged more than 4%, while the broader S&P 500 average was ahead more than 2%.
Travel, retail and bank stocks all advanced on renewed prospects for the U.S. economy, the world’s largest. But stocks that benefited from the pandemic such as Netflix, the streaming entertainment service, and Clorox, manufacturer of disinfectants, dropped in value.
Pfizer said it is on track to ask U.S. health regulators for the right to sell the vaccine before the end of November, although regulators say it will take some time to review the results of the drugmakers’ tests.
It will take even longer to produce enough of the vaccine for it to be widely distributed to the general public.
The coronavirus has killed more than 237,000 Americans and infected more than 10 million, more than in any other country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. is now recording more than 100,000 new infections daily in recent days.