The markets are going wild after the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (Nasdaq: BNTX) was shown to be more than 90% effective. Experts had hoped for 70% effectiveness, but expected no more than 50 to 60% effectiveness; this is indeed shockingly good vaccine news.
Great News for mRNA
The vaccine candidate of both biotech giants, which has tested 43,538 participants just showed 94 confirmed Covid-19 cases. It appears the effectiveness rate will be much better than expected; scientists were hoping that a vaccine would be at least 75% effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious disease official has said that he would accept a vaccine that is 50% or 60% effective. He also has said that a vaccine that proves to be 98% effective “is not great.” Well, Pfizer looks like it came pretty damn close.
On the news, shares of Pfizer and BioNTech surged 8% and 21% in early trading Monday. The news also had a positive impact on a fellow mRNA technology vaccine developer Moderna, (Nasdaq: MRNA) whose stock rose 6% in early trading.
Now, we’ll have to see just how effective Moderna’s vaccine is; the Massachusetts-based firm could disclose its final stage data sometime this month.
Travel Stocks Get Some Relief
It’s been a brutal year for the travel industry, as people have been taking much fewer vacations and business trips. But not today, stock in Southwest Airlines, (NYSE: LUV) Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) American Airlines (Nasdaq AAL) surged 19%, 16%, and 15% respectively in morning trading.
Cruise operators also saw some huge gains: Carnival (NYSE: CCL) skyrocketed 39%, Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE: RCL) jumped 33%, while Norwegian Cruise Line soared 29%.
Should you buy in the travel sector now? For now, with big gains today that ship may have sailed. Investors are optimistic about the long term, however, returning to normalcy is still months away. Even with a safe and effective vaccine, experts have targeted the third quarter of 2021 for the return to a normal life.
The next focus for investors will be centered around Donald Trump's pursuit of legal battles over the election as well as economic stimulus. However, legal experts overwhelming dismiss the majority of these lawsuits as frivolous.