Brimming hopes that people will again return to office buildings, shopping centers, and normal life sent markets rallying worldwide on Monday, following encouraging data about a potential coronavirus vaccine. The S&P 500 rose 41.06, or 1.2%, to 3,550.50 after Pfizer said an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, though that doesn’t mean its release is imminent. The index had been up as much as 3.9% earlier in the day, though it pared its gain in the last hour of trading amid drops for the Big Tech stocks that dominate the market, the AP reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 834.57 points higher, or 2.95%, to close at 29,157.97. It briefly hit an all-time high after surging more than 1,500 points in early trading.
Markets worldwide also got a boost from a resolution to the long, market-bruising battle for the White House. If a vaccine for COVID-19 does indeed pan out, analysts say it’s a "game changer" and just what the market had been waiting for. "I think that the rally is justifiable. I think we’re going to start a new discussion, and the discussion is what’s America going to look like post-COVID," says Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money. "If you think about where we were last week, where we felt that there was very little chance to be able to stop this thing, now suddenly we have hope." The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, however, fell 181.45 points, or 1.5%, to 11,713.78, with sharp drops for companies that benefited from people being hunkered down at home. Zoom Video Communications was down 17.4%.
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