US stocks edged higher on Wednesday, fueled by upbeat news from Pfizer and Boeing.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 139 points, or 0.5 percent, and was on its way to erase its Tuesday dip. The small bump keeps the Dow within spitting distance of the never-reached 30,000 mark, at 29,922.51 — but still shy of Monday’s all-time intraday high of 29,964.29.
The benchmark S&P 500 index and tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, were both up 0.1 percent.
The modest gains were powered by Pfizer’s announcement that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective – up from the 90 percent it had reported earlier.
“The market has been expecting this, but it is still in the realm of positive news,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told The Post.
Pfizer and Moderna have said they could seek emergency clearance for the shots in the US as soon as this month, and both companies plan to have millions of doses ready by the end of the year.
“When we hear from Moderna that they are seeking market authorization, that will reinforce that we will receive a vaccine that will be delivered to groups that are considered the most vulnerable, probably by the end of the year,” Krosby added.
The Dow likewise got a boost on Wednesday after the US cleared Boeing’s 737 MAX for passenger flights after being grounded for two years. Boeing shares were recently up 3.6 percent at $217.60.
The news also lifted shares of airlines. American Airlines gained 3.6 percent and Southwest Airlines added 2.1 percent as the carriers laid out plans to fly the aircraft again.
Meanwhile, the number of reported global daily deaths from the coronavirus stood at its highest ever on Tuesday, as the virus’s global epicenter the United States entered winter.
“The current market narrative seems to encompass a tug-of-war between good news on the vaccine front, juxtaposed against increasing new cases of COVID,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.