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U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Higher On Vaccine News, Nasdaq Hits New Record High

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Following the notable advance seen over the course of the previous session, stocks have seen further upside in morning trading on Monday. The continued upward move has lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq to another new record intraday high.

In recent trading, the major averages have risen to new highs for the session. The Dow is up 347.38 points or 1.3 percent at 26,422.68, the Nasdaq is up 152.15 points or 1.4 percent at 10,769.60 and the S&P 500 is up 34.37 points or 1.1 percent at 3,219.41.

The continued strength on Wall Street comes as traders react to more upbeat news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) announced that two of the companies' four investigational vaccine candidates received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The companies said they expect to start the next phase of trials as soon as later this month and are anticipating enrolling up to 30,000 subjects.

If the ongoing studies are successful and the vaccine receives regulatory approval, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to manufacture up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021.

The upbeat news on the vaccine front comes as the U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases for three days in a row, with Florida seeing a record 15,299 new cases on Sunday.

Shares of Pfizer are jumping by 4.3 percent, helping to lead the advance by the Dow, while shares of BioNTech are soaring by 10.7 percent.

The Nasdaq is benefiting from continued strength among tech giants like Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN), which have all reached new record intraday highs.

Netflix is among several big-name companies due to report their quarterly results in the coming days, along with Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Steel stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside in morning trading, resulting in a 2.3 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Steel Index.

Considerable strength is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The index has reached a new record intraday high.

Maxim Integrated Products (MXIM) is leading the sector higher after the chipmaker agreed to be acquired by rival Analog Devices (ADI) for $20.9 billion in stock.

Retail, pharmaceutical and chemical stocks are also seeing significant strength on the day, while oil service stocks have come under pressure amid a drop by the price of crude oil.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.2 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets have also shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing continued weakness after turning lower over the course of the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2 basis points at 0.653 percent.

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