Stocks at 2-Mo. High on Vaccine, Vote News

Equities in Canada’s largest centre hit a two-month high during noon hour EST on Monday after drug maker Pfizer said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective and as hopes of more stimulus under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden also boosted sentiment.

The TSX came off its highs of the morning, but still surged 220.6 points, or 1.4%, to 16,503.43.

The Canadian dollar hiked 0.27 cents at 77.05 cents U.S.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drug concerns to release successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

Cenovus Energy shares tacked on 87 cents, or 18.6%, to $5.54, after the oil and gas producer said it will sell its Marten Hills oil assets in northern Alberta to Headwater Exploration for $100 million. Shares in Headwater popped 23 cents, or 18.1%, to $1.50.

Another of the largest percentage gainers on the TSX was Aurora Cannabis, which jumped $2.38, or 18.6%, to $15.13, after reporting an improvement in quarterly results.

Alamos Gold fell $1.35, or 10.3%, the most on the TSX, to $ 11.71, while the second biggest decliner was Kinross Gold, down $1.13, or 9.9%, to $10.26.

ON BAYSTREET

The TSX Venture Exchange dropped 16.28 points, or 2.2%, to 726.01

Eight of the 12 TSX subgroups were in positive territory by lunch time, with energy up 14.6%, health-care rocketing 7.8%, and real-estate growing 4.7%.

The four laggards were gold, down 8.3%, materials falling 6.3%, and information technology, off 1.3%.

ON WALLSTREET

Stocks rallied to record levels on Monday as investors cheered trial data from drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech indicating their Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective.

The Dow Jones Industrials 1,278.22 points, or 4.5%, to move into noon hour at 29,601.62, to a new all-time record.

The S&P 500 gained 104.25 points, or 3%, to 3,613.78, also a record.

The NASDAQ hiked 83.06 points to 11,978.29.

The announcement was seen on Wall Street as a sign that the pharmaceutical industry may soon have a viable way to control a disease that has derailed the U.S. economy for much of 2020 and has killed more than 230,000 Americans.

The 90% effective rate from Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech was better than what the market was expecting. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that a vaccine that was 50% to 60% effective would be acceptable.

Travel, restaurant and hospitality companies that saw their equities swoon in the spring as Covid surged saw some of the strongest rallies on Monday following Pfizer’s announcement. On Monday, however, these names ripped higher.

Shares of cruise-operator Carnival Corp. rocketed higher by 39%, Southwest Airlines jumped 22% and the Walt Disney Company popped 14% as investors bet a vaccine may allow more vacationers to attend its many amusement parks.

Bank stocks also rallied. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup all rose more than 10%. Wells Fargo traded nearly 13% higher.

The so-called stay-at-home trade struggled. Zoom Video traded 17% lower and Amazon slid 5.2%. Netflix dipped 8.3%. Teladoc Health dropped 12.3%.

Monday also marked the first trading day after media projected that former Vice President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election against incumbent President Donald Trump. The call came four days after Election Day and amid close counts in several battleground states.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were sharply lower, lifting yields to 0.96% from Friday’s 0.82%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices climbed $3.45 to $40.59 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $86.40 to $1,865.30