US Elections

Markets move on Biden victory and a vaccine on the horizon?

Annie Charalambous, Tuesday, 10 November 2020

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Monday delivered on the volatility that election night -- week -- could not. 

The trading week started with a bang after the Associated Press called the race on Saturday, declaring Joe Biden the winner with 290 electoral seats. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei index hit an almost 30-year high after soaring 2.5% Monday. Green energy shares (of which Biden is a supporter, with climate change being one of his biggest priorities) had also shot up in pre-market trading but leveled out again during Monday’s session.
 
By market open, the news broke that Pfizer had completed its coronavirus vaccine trial, and found it to be 90% effective. Shares were up pre-market, and gained as much as 15% before settling at +7.7% by market close. In turn, the Dow was up almost 3% Monday, reaching a record high on both Biden’s win and Pfizer’s potential win.

The vaccine is one of just four in the final stages of clinical trials in the US at present, and could very well mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic, and this fact was not lost on the markets. 

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruiseline were among the S&P 500’s highest gainers, seeing moves of +39%, +28.8% and +26.75% respectively. Expedia wasn’t far behind, with a 24.5% gain, making it the NASDAQ100’s biggest gainer for the day.

For some markets, the news had an adverse effect. Some of those companies that thrived during the pandemic saw shares plummet yesterday. Zoom was down as much as 16%, Clorox fell ~10% and Netflix saw a loss of 8.6% by the closing bell. 

Additionally, safe-havens like gold and treasuries fell too as traders pulled their money out for more risk tolerant investments. Gold fell over 5% yesterday, before starting to regain some momentum again today.

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