Stocks surge to all-time highs amid COVID-19 vaccine hopes, Joe Biden victory

US stocks marched to all-time highs Monday as Wall Street hailed a major milestone in the race for a coronavirus vaccine.

The Dow Jones industrial average surged as much as 1,610.4 points, or about 5.7 percent, to an intraday record of 29,933.80 after Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that their experimental COVID-19 shot is more than 90 percent effective.

The benchmark S&P 500 also soared as much as 3.9 percent to a fresh record of 3,645.99 after the drugmakers’ milestone announcement, which was the clearest sign yet that one of the many inoculations in development can effectively ward off the deadly virus.

Even the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.5 percent to 12,072.80 — just about two points shy of its intraday record — despite big drops in tech stocks that have benefitted from the pandemic lockdowns, such as Zoom and Netflix.

“It’s clearly a step towards having the economy move to the other side of the pandemic, with the caveat that it will take time to deliver the vaccines, to store the vaccines and then set up a regimen by which the country is vaccinated,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Post.

Pfizer’s landmark announcement gave investors something to cheer about after months of waiting for definitive signs that any of the COVID-19 vaccines in the works around the world would work in large, late-stage clinical trials.

Wall Street is awaiting similar announcements from other leading contenders such as biotech firm Moderna, which has said it should know whether its shot works by the end of this month.

The news added to the buoyant mood on Wall Street ahead of the first trading session following Biden’s Saturday declaration of victory in the contentious presidential election.

Major news outlets calling the race for the former vice president gave investors a stronger degree of certainty about where the nation’s political winds are blowing, though the early results were convincing enough to drive the Dow up 1,821 points last week.

“The drama is not over yet, and with Trump still sitting in the White House for another two months, wild price swings should not be ruled out,” said Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axi. “However, for market participants, there is little doubt that Biden will be sitting in the Oval Office in January.”

Wall Street is broadly betting on a Democratic White House and a Republican-controlled Senate, a combination that should ensure another stimulus bill to address the coronavirus pandemic but reduce the chances of Biden passing any tax hikes or major changes to business regulations.

However, two runoff races for Georgia‘s Senate seats will give Democrats a shot at taking both houses of Congress in January even though they face an uphill battle in the Southern battleground state.

With Post wires

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