May 26, 2020

Bill Hastie |

Good Tuesday morning,

Powerful rallies in the U.S. equity markets last week drove impressive gains in the Dow, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ.  By the close of trading Friday, May 22, the three major stock indices had gained 3.43%, 3.27% and 3.48%, respectively.  Cited for the gains were the optimism of the economy reopening – especially for the Memorial Day weekend – and several developments toward a vaccine for the coronavirus.

While the U.S. stock markets were closed for the holiday yesterday, stock markets around the world continued last week’s rally.  With the bell to ring which will begin trading less than half an hour away, Dow futures are up more than 600 points – and for the same reasons that drove last week’s rally.  As an increasing number of states loosen restrictions, optimism for an eventual full reopening is growing.

Adding to the list of drug companies already in phase trials of testing, which include Moderna and Pfizer, are Maryland-based biotech Novavax and New Jersey-based Merck.  Novavax announced they are in phase one clinical trials for a vaccine candidate.  Merck has teamed up with IAVI, a non-profit scientific research organization, also seeking an effective vaccine.

No question, life may never be “normal” again.  But the cries to reopen the economy are coming from groups that range from locally organized protests to a letter sent to the White House drafted by 500 physicians warning of the danger of a continued shelter in place order.  The debate rages on – finding the balance “flattening the curve” and reviving a very damaged economy.  States like Florida and Georgia seem to have done very well in finding that balance as both states are mostly open and new cases of the coronavirus are on the decline.

Have a great day, enjoy the market rally and most of all, stay safe and healthy.