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Dow Soars 600, 1.95%, as Bonds Stabilize and Vaccines Lift Sentiment

Stocks end higher as the bond market stabilizes, investors look to passage of a stimulus package and Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine gets U.S. clearance.

Stocks on Monday finished higher, with the S&P 500 posting its best session in nine months, as the bond market stabilized and U.S. clearance of Johnson & Johnson’s  (JNJ)  one-shot COVID-19 vaccine boosted market sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 603 points, or 1.95%, to 31,535, the S&P 500 rose 2.38% for its best day since June, and the Nasdaq advanced 3.01%.

Boeing  (BA)  led the Dow higher, finishing up 5.8%, after United Airlines  (UAL)  placed an order for new 737 MAX jets. Also leading the industrials: Apple  (AAPL) , up 5.4%.

The Dow industrials on Monday were up as much as 2.4%, or 736 points.

Benchmark Treasury yields traded at 1.45% on Monday, retreating from last week's one-year highs of 1.6%, which were spurred by expectations of stronger growth and concern that inflation would rise along with an economic recovery.

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The Dow tumbled 469 points on Friday as the jump in interest rates unsettled investors on Wall Street. For the week, the Dow fell 1.8%, the S&P 500 declined 2.5% and the Nasdaq sank 4.9%.

Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine received the expected approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday, allowing the health-care giant to begin distributing the vaccine in the U.S.

J&J's vaccine is the third vaccine authorized in the U.S. to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the disease that has killed more than 514,000 Americans. The shot was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday.

Exxon Mobil  (XOM)  rose nearly 4% Monday after the second-biggest oil company added activist investor Jeff Ubben and former Comcast executive Michael Angelakis to its board.

Critics have pushed Exxon to accelerate its transition to lower-carbon strategies.

The contributions of Ubben and Angelakis “will be valued as Exxon Mobil advances plans to increase shareholder value by responsibly providing needed energy while playing a leadership role in the energy transition,” Exxon CEO Darren Woods said in a statement.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, approved early Saturday by the U.S. House of Representatives, now goes to the Senate for approval.