Vaccine Results Expected to Give Stock Market a Lift

Dow futures jump 650 points, in part on good news from Moderna trials
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2020 7:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – The stock market is expected to get off to a strong start on Monday after last week's struggles. Dow futures jumped 650 points, nearly 3%, and part of the reason is a promising report from drug-maker Moderna about a coronavirus vaccine, reports CNBC. The company says its vaccine contender generated antibodies in eight people who received two relatively low doses in a phase 1 trial, reports STAT News. "The data were limited and from only a small number of participants in the trial ... but they are still likely to be seen as encouraging," per the STAT report, which has more details on what's next in the drug trial. The company's stock rose 25% in pre-market trading, notes Business Insider, and bolstered already-rising stock futures. Some other factors in the upbeat mood on Wall Street:

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  • Fed comments: Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell said on 60 Minutes that “there’s a lot more we can do" to help the economy. "We’re not out of ammunition by a long shot. No, there’s really no limit to what we can do with these lending programs that we have." He also said he expected to see economic growth in the second half of the year, while cautioning that unemployment could rise to about 25%.
  • Quiet weekend: The Wall Street Journal notes that a lack of bad news over the weekend seems to have helped. "A relatively quiet weekend that offered no jolts to financial markets bolstered investors’ risk appetite, reflected in a resurgence in stocks," says its pre-market story. News that tourist destinations such as Italy and Greece suggested they would eventually welcome back foreign visitors also helped. For investors, "there’s an element of get in now; it can’t get worse and it might get sharply better," says an analyst at AJBell.
(Read more stock market stories.)

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