Moderna Vaccine, Stimulus Safety Net Bolster U.S. Stock ETFs

U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds rallied Monday on hopeful signs of a working coronavirus vaccine and bets of further stimulus measures to fuel the economic recovery.

On Monday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 2.2%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) gained 3.7%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 3.2%.

Drugmaker Moderna Inc announced an experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed promising results in an early-stage trial, Reuters reports.

“If there really is a workable vaccine that can be mass produced, it really is a game changer for so many industries about which we weren’t so sure if the reopenings would solve their problems,” Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments, told Reuters.

Further adding to the market optimism on Monday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell commented over the weekend on a gradual rebound in the economy and reaffirmed that the central bank is ready to add more monetary stimulus if required.

“Powell’s statement translates, at least for the moment, into a security blanket for investors,” Andre Bakhos managing director at New Vines Capital LLC, told Reuters.

Paul Chew, head of research at Phillip Securities, argued that markets are bound to push higher as economies emerge from months-long lockdowns and business activity picks up, the Wall Street Journal reports.

However, some warn that the rapid rebound in equity markets does not reflect fundamentals with stocks trading at pricey levels. The S&P 500 has jumped about 34% from the multi-year low hit in March and has settled into a tight range this month as easing of coronavirus-led restrictions added to hopes of economic recovery despite warnings of another wave of infection.

“The way the market has rallied is to suggest the pandemic never happened, and the reality is it has happened,” ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada told the WSJ. “I think we are getting close to levels where people question if equities are overvalued again.”

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