US Stocks Open Higher on Vaccine Hopes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose in early trading Monday after investors received several pieces of encouraging news on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, tempering concerns over rising virus cases and business restrictions.

The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.6%, led by technology companies that have been posting solid gains throughout the virus pandemic. Many companies and sectors that have been beaten down by the virus, including cruise lines and banks, were also among winners.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 237 points, or 0.8%, at 29,500 as of 10:08 a.m. Eastern time. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%.

The gains were broad, with more than 80% of the stocks in the S&P 500 rising. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks rose 1% in yet another signal that investors were feeling confident. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.85% from 0.81% late Friday.

Cruise line operator Carnival rose 2.2% and hotel company Marriott gained 1.8%. JPMorgan Chase rose 1.9%

AstraZeneca is the latest drug developer to report surprisingly good results from ongoing vaccine studies. It said the potential vaccine, which is being developed with partner Oxford University, was up to 90% effective. Unlike rival candidates, however, AstraZeneca's doesn't have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to distribute.

Last week, Pfizer and Moderna both reported study results showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective. And, over the weekend, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has received U.S. government approval for emergency use of its COVID-19 treatment. The drug, which President Donald Trump received when he was sickened last month, is meant to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

The latest vaccine developments are helping to raise hopes that some normalcy will eventually be restored to everyday life and economic activity. It is also tempering lingering concerns about new government controls as the virus spikes in the U.S. and globally.

In Europe, France's CAC 40 rose 0.3%, and Germany's DAX returned 0.4%. The FTSE 100 in London was flat. Asian stocks were mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1%, but other markets were stronger. South Korea's Kospi added 0.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.5% and stocks in Shanghai added 0.2%.