Moderna COVID-19 vaccine progress sends stock markets soaring


News from U.S. drug company Moderna Inc. that its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate has also been more than 90 per cent effective in clinical trials sent stock markets soaring on Monday, boosting hopes that the global economy may soon fully convalesce and things could get back to normal.

Moderna announced before markets opened on Monday that its vaccine candidate appears to be 94.5 per cent effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of 30,000 volunteers.

The news echoed a similar announcement exactly one week ago from U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which sent investors cheering with word that its vaccine candidate appeared to be more than 90 per cent effective.

The news sent Moderna stock soaring 8 per cent when stock markets opened on Monday but it was also a badly needed shot in the arm for the stock market overall, on hopes that the pandemic could be closer to its end than to its beginning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained almost 400 points in early trading to 29,872, an all-time high. The broader S&P 500 also set a record high above 3,600 points, while in Toronto the S&P/TSX Composite Index gains were a little more muted, up about half a per cent to 16,739.

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