Overnight Finance

On The Money: Markets soar on Pfizer vaccine news | EU imposes tariffs on $4B of US goods over Boeing | Business groups applaud Biden's push for masks

On The Money: Markets soar on Pfizer vaccine news | EU imposes tariffs on $4B of US goods over Boeing | Business groups applaud Biden's push for masks

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THE BIG DEAL—Markets soar, breaking records on Pfizer vaccine news: Stocks skyrocketed Monday morning, breaking intraday records on the news from Pfizer that late-stage clinical trial data for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate was over 90 percent effective.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up over 1,500 points, or 5.5 percent, hovering at 29,887, well above its pre-pandemic peak of 29,569. By close, its gains were nearly cut in half, closing below previous records at 29,158.
  • The S&P 500 jumped 129 points, or 3.7 percent, reaching 3,636, well beyond its September record of 3,587. Like the Dow, the S&P pared back gains to close at 3,551, also below its record.
  • Industries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, such as travel and leisure, saw major boosts, shifting investment away from e-commerce businesses that have thrived during the pandemic. 

The Hill’s Niv Elis has more here.

Optimistic rally: The news sets up a potential timeline and eventual end game for eradicating the global pandemic, which has caused one of the worst recessions on record. 

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Differing presidential reactions: 

Read More: 5 things to know about the Pfizer vaccine news

LEADING THE DAY

EU imposes tariffs on $4B of US goods over Boeing: The European Union on Monday announced that it was putting in place tariffs on $4 billion of American products based on a trade dispute over aerospace company Boeing.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) last month sided with Europe in the years-long dispute, faulting the U.S. government for breaking trade law by providing tax breaks and subsidies to Boeing, and opening the door for Monday's decision.

"Regrettably, due to lack of progress with the U.S., we had no other choice but to impose these countermeasures," European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said.

  • The measures will include a 15 percent tariff on purchasing aircraft and a 25 percent tariff on an array of agricultural and industrial products.
  • Europe's tariffs follow the U.S. government's decision last year to impose its own WTO-approved tariffs on $7.5 billion of European products over subsidies to Airbus, Boeing's main European competitor. The tariffs included wine, cheese and whiskey.

Dombrovskis called for the U.S. and EU to strike a deal that would remove the trade barriers.

"Removing these tariffs is a win-win for both sides, especially with the pandemic wreaking havoc on our economies," he said. 

Business groups applaud Biden's push for masks: Business groups are commending President-elect Joe Biden for calling on all Americans to wear masks, making the case Monday that the move is part of a shared civic duty.

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Since he was declared the winner of last week's vote, Biden has focused on putting together a task force to implement his COVID-19 plan. His message on masks stands in stark contrast to President Trump, who has talked down their importance.

That’s won Biden praise from business groups, even some who’ve traditionally found more allies on the other side of the aisle.

  • “President-elect Joe Biden’s message today, which is based on fact and science, is the type of leadership by example that will help us achieve that,” National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the pro-business lobbying group is encouraged that Biden announced a COVID-19 task force as one of his first actions following the election.
  • The National Retail Federation (NRF), which represents retail companies, said that the sector has served as the equivalent of economic first responders while also protecting the health and safety of employees. 

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano tells us why here.

GOOD TO KNOW