Wall Street returned from its long weekend with a roar Tuesday morning, sparked by news that mega pharma, Merck, announced it has entered the Covid-19 vaccine race. Merck’s absence among its peers has been conspicuous, but the company will now pursue two vaccines. Merck’s stock rose 1.17%. (Stockchase has examined eight other companies developing their own vaccines.)
Also boosting investor confidence are continued reopenings as well as U.S. consumer confidence numbers inching up. Though the Nasdaq’s rally faded to close at only 0.17%, the Dow bounced 2.17% to levels last seen in March 10, and the S&P climbed 1.23% to March 5’s close. Industrials and financials led, with Goldman Sachs popping nearly 9%. Travel and leisure stocks enjoyed a surge with United Airlines soaring over 16%.
The TSX extended Monday’s gains by adding 0.48%. This side of the border is bank earnings week. First out of the gate was the Bank of Nova Scotia, which confirmed investor expectations of high loan losses, but the numbers were not as bad as feared. Its CEO warned that loan losses will remain high for the rest of year (no surprise to the street), but he expects all BNS’ main businesses to remain profitable, helped by a snapback from reopenings and government and central bank stimulus. BNS popped 7.41%. Investors hope that the other big Canadian banks will follow, and they all rallied on Tuesday. Financials surged 5.2%. Materials and energy also gained.