Moderna Jumps 11.8% as It Tests Vaccine Against Variant

Markets recover ground after Friday's big drop
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2021 3:55 PM CST
Markets Steady Themselves After Friday's Big Drop
Syringes of Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine sit on a table at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill East Norwegian Street in Pottsville, Pa., on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.   (Lindsey Shuey/Republican-Herald via AP)

(Newser) – The stock market steadied itself Monday following a slide last week brought on by the newest coronavirus variant. Investors are waiting for more clues about just how much damage the new strain may do to the economy. The S&P 500 recovered more than half its drop from Friday. Bond yields and crude oil also recovered chunks of Friday’s knee-jerk reaction to run toward safety and away from risky investments. While the market was steadier, it didn’t return to the full-on rally it had been on before the discovery of the variant now known as omicron. The S&P 500 rose 60.65 points, or 1.3%, to 4,655.27. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 236.60 points, or 0.7%, to 35,135.94. The Nasdaq rose 291.18 points, or 1.9%, to 15,782.83.

With vaccines in hand—and with the benefit of a weekend to mull whether Friday’s sharp market moves were overdone—analysts said the world may be in better position to weather this newest potential wave, the AP reports. Plus, Friday’s tumble for markets may have been exacerbated by many traders taking the day off following Thanksgiving. But caution was still hanging over the market due to the discovery of the variant, which appears to spread more easily. Still to be seen is how effective vaccines currently available are for the variant, and how long it may take to develop new omicron-specific vaccines. "There are still more questions than answers regarding the new variant,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial."

The most powerful lift for stocks came from those that have been able to grow strongly almost regardless of the economy’s strength or pandemic’s pall. Gains for five big tech-oriented stocks—Microsoft, Tesla, Apple, Amazon, and Nvidia—alone accounted for more than a third of the S&P 500’s rise. Moderna jumped 11.8% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500, adding onto an even bigger gain from Friday, after it said it’s testing the effectiveness of its vaccine against omicron. Travel-related stocks started the day with gains but fell back as more caution filtered into the market and as travel restrictions around the world remained in force. (Read more stock market stories.)

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