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Stocks rise after Moderna vaccine announcement

Stocks rise after Moderna vaccine announcement
© BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

Stocks kicked off Monday with major gains after Moderna announced that its coronavirus vaccine candidate was 94.5 percent effective, according to preliminary data, boosting hopes of a quicker rebound from the COVID-19 recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a gain of more than 350 points Monday, rising 1.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite rose roughly 0.1 percent, and the S&P 500 index rose 0.8 percent.

The Dow closed up 470 points, a gain of 1.6 percent, while the Nasdaq and S&P closed with gains 0.8 percent and 1.2 percent each.

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Moderna’s announcement boosted hope among investors that COVID-19 could be brought under control sooner, allowing the U.S to recover faster from the economic damage of the pandemic.

News of Moderna’s successful vaccine candidate comes one week after Pfizer announced its vaccine was also more than 90 percent effective at curbing coronavirus infections. The availability of another effective vaccine could help countries vaccinate a greater proportion of their residents quicker.

While progress toward two vaccines may mark another step closer to curbing the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. will likely face several daunting months until they are distributed broadly across the country. 

The Trump administration struck deals with both companies to purchase at least 100 million doses of each vaccine. But while vaccines could be available for health care workers and other high-priority groups by December, they might not be widely available for the general public until spring. 

Updated 6:04 p.m.