Dow futures were last up 1,272 points, or about 4.5%. S&P 500 (SPX) futures were up around 3.5% and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up 1.5%. The move higher comes after stocks ended Friday mostly unchanged.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) in London climbed 4.7%, while Germany’s DAX (DAX) jumped 5.4% and France’s CAC 40 (CAC40) vaulted nearly 7% higher. The price of Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, shot up nearly 8% to $42.45 a barrel, inching closer to its recent peak of $45.86 a barrel on August 25.
The vaccine “looks like the game-changing panacea the oil market has been waiting for,” chief global markets strategist at Axi, Stephen Innes said in a research note.
Stocks were rallying even before the news of a potential coronavirus vaccine broke, as investors reacted positively to greater political certainty following Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.
But the coronavirus remains a major risk to the economy and markets, which is why traders are reacting so enthusiastically to the news that Pfizer will seek emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine candidate. The vaccine is made together with German partner, BioNTech.
Wall Street was already expecting a Biden victory as the election appeared to tip in the Democrat’s favor throughout last week. But investors are now able to react with more certainty: CNN projected Saturday that Biden would become President of the United States as his path to victory in Pennsylvania appeared to deliver him enough electoral votes.
On Saturday, Biden announced during his victory speech his plans to assemble a coronavirus task force that will aid in helping curb the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate in the United States, which could force state governors to shut parts of the economy to try to contain the spread. Several major countries in Europe have imposed nationwide lockdowns, with the region now poised to slip back into recession in the fourth quarter. There’s a risk that fourth quarter US GDP will also turn negative as the virus weighs on business and consumer confidence even in the absence of widespread restrictions.
There are also unanswered questions about the balance of power in Washington. The race for control of the Senate still hangs in the balance — there are likely Senate runoff elections in Georgia still to come — and investors are also expecting Republicans to hold the chamber. Such an outcome would likely mean more modest policies on taxes and regulations.
“It’s what happens in the Senate race that could determine the next move up or down,” said chief market analyst at CMC Markets, Michael Hewson. “If that looks as if it might change in the run-offs in January then you could see some weakness in certain parts of the stock market in the event the Democrats get their blue wave wish.”
Expectations that Biden will usher in a more diplomatic approach to US foreign policy boosted global stocks, with markets in Asia Pacific closing higher on Monday.
A “fresh chapter to US foreign policy … is important to the world and of particular interest to the export-oriented economies namely China, Mexico, the [European Union] and Japan,” Margaret Yang, a strategist with DailyFX, wrote in a research note.
– Hanna Ziady contributed reporting.