Stock Market Today: Dow 30,000 in Sight After Another Vaccine Rally

Moderna (MRNA) followed up last week's Pfizer (PFE) act with outstanding vaccine data of its own, pushing the Dow to new highs just 50 points shy of 30,000.

Doctor prepping vaccination
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Don't dismiss that feeling of déjà vu. Today's market action was absolutely similar to last Monday's vaccine-fueled rally. This time, however, it wasn't Pfizer (PFE (opens in new tab)) and BioNTech (BNTX (opens in new tab)), but Moderna (MRNA (opens in new tab), +9.6%) releasing good news about its trial candidate.

Early data suggests Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine is 94.5% effective, which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-diseases official, called "truly outstanding."

Better still, Moderna's vaccine can be stored for 30 days between 36 to 46 degree Fahrenheit (about what you'd find in a refrigerator), and for six months at -4 degrees. That's much more forgiving for storage and transportation purposes than Pfizer's vaccine, which must be kept at -94 degrees.

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"Last week’s Pfizer news was great, but today's Moderna vaccine news is even better," says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. "Being able to store the vaccine in a standard fridge for up to a month makes transportation and usability so much easier. Yes, new cases and hospitalizations are soaring, but we are inching closer to ending this pandemic."

And just like last week, investors gobbled up airlines, cruise lines and other COVID-battered stocks whose fates are tethered to vaccine success. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.6% to a new high of 29,950, lifted by big gains from industrial stocks such as Boeing (BA (opens in new tab), +8.2%) and Honeywell (HON (opens in new tab), +3.5%).

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 also hit a new high, gaining 1.2% to 3,626.
  • The small-cap Russell 2000 rewrote the record books, soaring 2.4% to 1,785.
  • Once again, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged the group, finishing up 0.8% to 11,924.

How to Play This Rotation

Wall Street's pros continue to have faith in a continued rotation out of 2020's early winners and into the market's more battered (but recovering) names.

"The path of least resistance for equities seems to be higher at the moment as favorable vaccine news, along with less uncertainty regarding the election, is proving to be a positive catalyst in the near term," says Brian Price, Head of Investment Management for Commonwealth Financial Network. "It's encouraging that we're seeing a rotation from growth and momentum-oriented stocks to value and cyclical names."

We've previously highlighted ways to invest in value now -- stock investors can target these seven picks, while those who prefer funds can explore these seven options. You can leverage this movement in other ways, too, such as sector investing -- among these 16 sector funds are products that provide exposure to industrials, financials and other recovery-sensitive plays.

Another area of the market to watch is the biotechnology space. Yes, this contains companies involved in developing COVID vaccines and treatments, but in general, many healthcare plays should also get a boost when the pandemic recedes and providers can resume regular treatments.

Read on as we look at 14 biotech and biopharmaceutical stocks that look attractive as 2020 winds down and 2021 nears. This list includes Big Pharma firms that are adding biotech exposure, biotech-industry leaders and smaller biotechnology firms that are trying to catch their big break.

Kyle Woodley was long BA as of this writing.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.