Markets Rally on Promising Vaccine Report and Biden Win, Theater and Theme Park Shares Soar

U.S. markets surged Monday on news that Pfizer’s COVID vaccine was more effective than expected and after the weekend news that Joe Biden was the projected winner of the U.S. presidential election.

Ahead of markets opening Monday, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures boomed 5.5%, promising to push the index above its pre-COVID record high from February. S&P 500-related futures were up 4% before the opening bell.

Stocks of theater chains, which have been debilitated during the pandemic, soared in premarket trading. AMC Entertainment, which has faced the prospect filing for bankruptcy, boomed 80%, and Cinemark climbed 40%.

Theme park stocks also surged. Disney was up more than 10% in premarket trading, as investors eyed a bigger reopening of the company’s theme parks. Also gaining were Six Flags Entertainment (+22%) and SeaWorld Entertainment (+14%).

By the same token, so-called “stay at home” stocks that have benefited from coronavirus lockdowns — including Netflix — fell Monday on Pfizer’s vaccine news. Netflix was down more than 5.5% in premarket trading, while videoconferencing provider Zoom was off more than 13% and fitness brand Peloton was -11%.

Big tech stocks were mixed: Amazon, whose sales have soared because of the pandemic, was down 1.8% before markets opened. Apple was up 1.7% in premarket, Alphabet (Google’s parent) was up 1.1%, and Facebook was up 0.2%.

On Monday before markets opened, Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate they developed was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.

The companies said they are “continuing to accumulate safety data” and currently estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second and final dose of the vaccine candidate — which is the amount of safety data specified by the FDA in its guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization — will be available by the third week of November. Based on current projections, Pfizer and BioNTech said, they expect to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.

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