Stocks rose Wednesday on the back of positive coronavirus vaccine news and a blowout quarter from Goldman Sachs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 227.51 points higher, or 0.9%, at 26,870.10. It was the Dow's fourth straight daily gain. The S&P 500 was up 0.9% at 3,226.56. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.5% to end the day at 10,550.49. The Russell 2000 — which is made up of small-cap stocks — rallied 3.5% for its biggest one-day gain since early June.
Data published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed Moderna's coronavirus vaccine produced a "robust" immune response, or neutralizing antibodies, in all 45 patients in its early stage human trial. The news sent Moderna shares up 6.9%
Stocks directly tied to an economic reopening jumped following the vaccine news. American Airlines, United Airlines, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines all popped more than 14%. Gap jumped 12.7% and Kohl's gained more than 9%.
"A COVID-19 cure/vaccine is a binary event for markets, and there are many 'shots on goal' on the healthcare side and only one needs to be successful," said Tom Lee, founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, in a note. "There are piles of cash seen in hedge funds, macro funds, mutual funds and individual investors. If the cadence of healthcare data continues to support some sort of cure, the focus on 're-closings' ultimately fades."
Several states, including California, have had to roll back reopening measures as coronavirus cases continue to rise. Confirmed cases in the U.S. total more than 3.4 million and deaths have surpassed 136,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Earnings season continued and Goldman Sachs reported quarterly numbers that easily beat analyst expectations. The company's results were driven by a 93% surge in trading revenue. Goldman shares gained 1.4%.
Bank earnings had been mixed leading up to Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase reported on Tuesday better-than-expected quarterly results on the back of a massive surge in trading revenue. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo suffered a $2.4 billion loss and slashed its dividend to 10 cents per share.
"Clearly, in the second quarter, you're seeing very robust results in investment banking, very strong trading results on one hand," Jason Goldberg, senior analyst at Barclays, told CNBC's "Power Lunch." "On the other hand, these results are being pressured by significant reductions in net interest margins as well as pretty sizable increases in bank loan-loss reserves."
Apple contributed to the gains Wednesday, rising 0.7% after a European Union court annulled a 2016 European Commission order for the tech giant to pay $15 billion in taxes.
The major averages closed well off their session highs, however, as shares of other major tech companies declined. Amazon slid 2.4%. Netflix fell 0.3%. Alphabet and Microsoft also closed lower.
—CNBC's Jesse Pound contributed reporting.
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