Dow wraps best month since 1987 on Covid-19 vaccine hopes

The Dow gained nearly 12 per cent for all of November. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow concluded its best month in more than three decades on Monday (Nov 30), with gains propelled by expectations for a 2021 recovery based on coronavirus vaccine progress.

The blue-chip index suffered a 0.9 per cent drop in the session to finish at 29,638.64, but that's nearly a 12 per cent gain for all of November, making it the best month since January 1987.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.5 per cent to 3,621.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 12,198.74.

The November gains followed a bruising October amid worries over rising coronavirus cases and fears of a contested US presidential election.

But stocks have gained ground since the Nov 3 US presidential election as investors now expect an uneventful transfer of power at the White House, even though President Donald Trump has not conceded the race to former vice-president Joe Biden.

Mr Trump has filed dozens of lawsuits but Mr Biden's victory has been confirmed after key states certified the results.

Besides easing fears over political uncertainty, markets have rallied in the wake of a series of upbeat announcements on coronavirus vaccines, including one on Monday from Moderna.

Those advances have diminished the drag on sentiment even as US coronavirus cases push to new records.

Moderna surged 20.2 per cent after announcing it would file requests for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and Europe, after full results confirmed a high efficacy estimated at 94.1 per cent.

Nikola plunged 26.9 per cent after it reached a revised and sharply pared-down deal with General Motors, which will no longer take a stake in the electric-truck startup. GM fell 2.7 per cent.

IHS Markit jumped 7.4 per cent after reaching a deal to be acquired by S&P Global for US$44 billion (S$59 billion), creating a massive enterprise to produce data and analytics used by Wall Street.

The firms said joining forces will bolster offerings to investor clients and provide complementary information streams in growth areas, such as in the shifts towards renewable energy. S&P Global gained 3 per cent.

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