Stock ETFs Build On Friday Gains, Ignoring Florida Virus Spike

Stocks and index ETFs are surging on Monday, building on the gains made Friday, as investors once again eschew the spiking coronavirus cases and push stocks higher in a plethora of market sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average popped 400 points, or 1.6%, while the S&P 500 added 1.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.8%, breaking through the 11,000 level for the first time. The Nasdaq-100 also surged 1.6% to crest 11,000 for the first time.

Stock index ETFs are climbing along with the underlying benchmarks on Monday. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), are positive in late morning trade Friday, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) is making robust gains, up 2.11%.

Florida released data showing there were 15,299 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest single-day total for any U.S. state, including New York at its worst since the pandemic commenced.

Despite investor complacency regarding the virus, the U.S. has reported over 60,000 new cases daily for the last three days in a row now, driving the national tally to over 3 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“COVID remains a huge problem w/cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities all climbing,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note on Sunday. “The market continues to absorb all this information relatively well and this seems to be a function of vaccine hopes, lower fatality rates vs. Mar/April, the avoidance of wholesale lockdowns, and the lack of a resurgence in the Northeast (esp. NYC).”

Building on positive biotech news from Gilead last week, Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech SE were given fast track designation by the FDA for two of the companies’ four vaccine candidates against the coronavirus, causing the stocks to jump. Pfizer shares added 2.6%. BioNTech jumped 10%.

For investors looking to take part in the biotech sector using ETFs, the VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH), iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB), and the Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF (BBC) are all ETFs to consider.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they project the next phase of the vaccine trial will begin later this month, with 30,000 subjects. The companies anticipate they will have generated 100 million doses of a vaccine by the end of the year and more than 1.2 billion doses by the end of 2021, according to a release.

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