Dow surges 600 points, S&P 500 punches above key technical level as stock-market investors focus on Novovax, Merck vaccine candidates
U.S. stock benchmarks rallied Tuesday morning after Memorial Day weekend, as investors seized on fresh coronavirus vaccine news and signs that global economy was slowly starting to emerge from shutdowns induced by the viral pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped around 600 points, or 2.5%, at 25,082, the S&P 500 index climbed 2% at 3,013, which was above its 200-day moving average at 2,999.81--a level viewed by technical analysts as a key dividing line between long-term bullish and bearish trends. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.4% at 9,447. On the corporate front, Novavax Inc. said it has started human trials of its vaccine candidate. The first phase of the placebo-controlled study will enroll 130 healthy adults; the first round of data from that study is expected in July. Big drugmaker Merck & Co. also said it is working on two potential vaccines and an experimental drug against the coronavirus, joining rivals in the frantic search for medicines. Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange, run by Intercontinental Exchange Inc. , resumed floor trading Tuesday.