Wall Street seems to applaud every stage of vaccine development, no matter how predictable the race for a cure is at this stage.
One of the most promising vaccines, the messenger RNA-based candidate from Moderna (ticker: MRNA), entered the final stage of clinical trials on Monday -- trials that will enroll up to 30,000 people around the U.S.
Shares of Moderna rose more than 9% on Monday, and all three major U.S. indices rose as well, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 114 points, or 0.43%, to finish at 26,584.
Big week for Big Tech. Investors can expect news in the latter half of the week to focus on Big Tech, which will see Facebook ( FB), Amazon ( AMZN), Apple ( AAPL) and Alphabet ( GOOG, GOOGL) report earnings. CEOs from all four companies will testify before Congress on Wednesday on antitrust issues.
Still waiting on the next relief bill. The GOP signaled on Monday that it was aiming to put forth its proposals for the next round of pandemic-induced spending by late Monday evening. From there, Republican leadership will go to the negotiating table with Democrats and iron out something both houses of Congress and the White House can agree on.
One of the sticking points of the prospective bill, which may run taxpayers about $1 trillion, is expected to be the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, which Republicans reportedly want to slash to $200 a week, and Democrats would like to continue as-is through January.
Gold hits another record high. In news that is, strangely enough, related, gold prices hit an all-time high on Monday. The precious metal rose about 2%, trading at about $1,943 an ounce as the U.S. dollar hit a two-year low. A weakening dollar -- which can be instigated by the economic concerns, low interest rates and dovish Federal Reserve policy seen right now -- often helps buoy gold, an asset that doesn't pay a dividend and which is itself denominated in dollars itself.