As COVID-19 cases surge across the United States and anxiety mounts ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, investors have received a dose of good news: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit a milestone.
The blue-chip index today hit an all-time high of 30,000 after stocks extended Monday’s rally, driven by promising vaccine news and reports that President Donald Trump was relenting in his fight to stay in the White House. Today, as President-elect Joe Biden begins his transition to the nation’s highest post, investors appeared to rejoice in the sign of more certainty ahead.
The Dow ended the trading day Tuesday up 454 points to 30,046; the S&P 500 gained 58 points to 3,635; and the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 156 points to 12,036.
Footwear stocks moved in tandem with the market: Caleres Inc., Designer Brands Inc., Under Armour Inc. and Skechers USA Inc. closed up 7%, 9%, 3% and 2%, respectively.
On Monday, benchmark indexes and retail stocks reacted similarly to news that a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca PLC and the University of Oxford was as much as 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections without serious side effects. It became the third potential vaccine to show promising outcomes — following the announcement of Moderna Inc.’s and Pfizer Inc.’s highly praised candidates, with efficacy of 90% and 95% respectively. Some investors viewed the news as a confirmation that an economic rebound could be seen as soon as early next year.
At retailers head into the all-important holiday season, the National Retail Federation indicated early this week that sales were already rebounding strongly and could continue to be boosted by positive vaccine news. In its annual forecast, the group predicted a jump of between 3.6% and 5.3% to $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion in holiday sales during November and December. The numbers — which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants — compare with a 4% hike to $729.1 billion last year and an average holiday sales gain of 3.5% over the past five years.
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