Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose as investors continued to bet that consumer behavior would return to normal in the coming months as a vaccine becomes available.
"Last week's Pfizer news was great, but today's Moderna vaccine news is even better," said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at brokerage LPL Financial, in a note to clients.
"Being able to store the vaccine in a standard fridge for up to a month makes transportation and usability so much easier. Yes, new cases and hospitalizations are soaring, but we are inching closer to ending this pandemic."
Some strategists warned there could still be economic and market pain to come before that happens, however.
"Until a vaccine is available, however, the virus continues to rage," said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at money manager Nuveen.
"The U.S. is seeing strains in many hospitals, and also starting to experience the same lockdowns as Europe. Europe is likely to re-enter recession, and that could also be a risk in the U.S. if conditions worsen."
Home Depot agreed to buy HD Supply Holdings for about $8.7 billion, reuniting with a unit it sold off in 2007 as the home-improvement giant returns to the wholesale distribution of specialist equipment for electricians, plumbers and others. After the split from its parent, HD Supply offloaded a construction-supplies business that had represented about half of its sales.
Tyson Foods rallied after the poultry processor's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates. Apparel retailer Francesca's Holdings said it plans to close about 140 boutiques, or roughly 20% of its stores, by the end of January amid financial pressures from the coronavirus pandemic.
Southwest Airlines executives have fanned out to cities such as Palm Springs, Calif. and Sarasota, Fla. as it seeks to add cities to its network during a time of weakness for the airline industry.
Write to Rob Curran at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires