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U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Higher On Upbeat Vaccine News

wallstreet sept18 23nov20 lt

Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, partly offsetting the weakness seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside on the day following the mixed performance seen last week.

Currently, the major averages are all in positive territory, although the Nasdaq is posting only a modest gain. While the Nasdaq is up 14.39 points or 0.1 percent at 11,869.36, the Dow is up 246.76 points or 0.8 percent at 29,510.24 and the S&P 500 is up 18.87 points or 0.5 percent at 3,576.41.

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

AstraZeneca (AZN) announced the its vaccine candidate being developed in collaboration with Oxford University had an average efficacy of 70 percent.

The drug maker said one dosing regimen showed vaccine efficacy of 90 percent when given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, while another dosing regimen showed 62 percent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

Adding to the positive sentiment, the FDA has granted an emergency use authorization for Regeneron's Covid-19 antibody treatment, while purportedly helped President Donald Trump fend off the disease.

Buying interest is somewhat subdued, however, as traders also continue to grapple with concerns about the recent spike in coronavirus cases leading to new restrictions and lockdowns.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines along with the upcoming Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Energy stocks are turning in some of the market's best performances on the day, as the upbeat vaccine news has led to optimism about the outlook for demand.

Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 4.6 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 3.8 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 3.3 percent.

Significant strength is also visible among airline stocks, as reflected by the 2.2 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Airline Index.

Steel, banking and chemical stocks are also seeing considerable strength on the day, while gold stocks are moving sharply lower along with the price of the precious metal.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday, although the Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. China's Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.1 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI surged up by 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have turned mixed on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has edged down by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved to the downside after trending higher over the past few sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.6 basis points at 0.855 percent.

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