November 30, 2020 | Caribbean Business
by: Francisco Rodríguez-Castro
Despite Stimulus Hubris, Elections, Vaccines and Economic Recovery deliver a November for the record books.
Photo by: (CB files)
During the month, the market’s highs came despite a record-breaking 90,000 hospitalizations amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. Even with this news, November turned out to be one for the record books. The market and investors have been reacting all month to the race for the COVID-19 vaccine developments. So far, we have four companies that announced breakthroughs in the creation of three effective COVID-19 vaccines.
The companies include Pfizer (P.F.E.)/BioNTRech (BNTX), Moderna (MRNA) and AstraZeneca (AZN). However, the companies’ efficacy rates vary. In both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have announced that their respective vaccines are more than 90% effective. Meanwhile, while data released by AstraZeneca showe their COVID-19 vaccine had, on average, a 70% efficacy rate. This development has created a cautious optimism among investors.
Another healthy boost to investor confidence came courtesy of General Services Administrator Emily Murphy, who had been resisting giving the green light to Joe Biden’s team but finally started the transition of power at the White House.
This helped relieve investors’ concerns about political instability and the overall threat to the U.S. democracy by President Trump’s almost surreal fight claiming he won the election.
Another positive move that lifted the market’s spirits came as President-Elect Biden announced his incoming economic team, which includes:
•Janet Yellen, the former Fed chair, to serve as Treasury secretary
•Neera Tanden, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, as budget director
•Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University professor, to chair the White House council of economic advisers.
Wall Street summary for the month closing Nov. 30, 2020;
•The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 29,638.64, up 3,137.104 points, or 11.84%, for a year-to-date (YTD) return of 3.86%.
•The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at 3,621.63, up 351.67 points, or 10.75%, for a YTD return of 12.1%.
•The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 12,198.74, up 1,287.15 points, or 11.8%, for a YTD return of 35.96%.
•The Birling Puerto Rico Stock Index closed up at 1,956.58, up 324.17 points, or 19.86%, for a YTD return of -3.99%.
•The U.S. Treasury 10-year note closed at 0.84%.
•The U.S. Treasury 2-year note closed at 0.16%.