Dow Skyrockets to Record High as Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Gains Approval and Stimulus Passes the House
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped up 722 to 31,654 points mid-afternoon on Monday, March 1, with news that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. The company said it expects to begin shipping four million doses immediately, Fox Business reports.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) stock was up 1.84 points mid-afternoon Monday following the announcement. Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech stock also rose Monday, while the stocks of some of the major players in the travel industry also jumped, Fox Business reports. For instance, Delta Airlines rose 1.25%, while hotel chain Marriott International, Inc. jumped more than 1%. American Airlines also started to climb, up 1.34% mid-afternoon, creeping toward its 52-week high of $22.80.
Overall, the market is up today, with the S&P 500 trading at 3,912.93, a 101-point rise, and Nasdaq is also up 390 points. The Dow has reached another record high after plummeting to just over 30,000 in early January.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine approval came on the heels of more good news for the U.S. and the stock market. The House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill with extended unemployment benefits and additional stimulus funds. Congress expects the bill to pass through the Senate via a process called reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority vote to pass certain budget-related legislation.
Why the J&J Vaccine is Different
As a single-dose inoculation, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine alleviates some of the concerns associated with administering other Covid-19 vaccinations, including recruiting double the volunteers and getting shot recipients to return for a second dose. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes a general decline in uptake between the first and second doses of any vaccine, including human papillomavirus and meningitis, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports.
Documentation showed that the vaccine was highly effective to prevent severe disease in those exposed to the coronavirus and was 72% effective in the U.S.-based portion of a global study of 43,000 people, Bloomberg reported prior to approval, when FDA staff recommended the vaccine for approval. The FDA staff document also showed that the vaccine worked better against mutant coronavirus strains than previous reports indicated.
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