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Markets Rocket Higher as Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise, Netflix Stays Sticky

Investors are starting to get used to record performances from the stock market, and Wednesday brought some more good news for market participants. Despite some calls that the markets might be getting frothy, gains came across the board. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was once again the slowpoke in moving upward, but even it managed to eke out a gain on the day. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite scored all-time highs yet again.

Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

+0.30%

+83

S&P 500

+1.02%

+35

Nasdaq Composite

+1.73%

+199

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Gains for several stocks show the influence that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on what consumers want and what companies are doing to satisfy that demand. Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) gave investors some promising news about its coronavirus vaccine candidate, while it seems that Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is poised to hang onto much of the new customer base it has attracted during the pandemic and its associated lockdowns.

Four bottles labeled COVID-19 vaccine, with blue tops on a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

A vaccine with promise

Shares of Moderna climbed 6% on Wednesday. The company has worked hard on a candidate vaccine for COVID-19, and its latest results suggested to shareholders that its efforts could pay off.

Moderna revealed data from a stage 1 clinical trial of its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate at a webinar with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The trial separated participants into three age groups: 18-55, 56-70, and 71 and older. The data showed that mRNA-1273 was safe in producing no significant adverse events on the participants, and antibody presence was at consistently high levels.

At this point, Moderna is in overdrive to try to get its vaccine approved. The company is among the first to start phase 3 clinical trials to fight COVID-19, having announced its beginning in late July. Based on recent events, it seems likely that the White House will support emergency use authorizations for vaccine candidates that show promise.

Investors are hopeful that mRNA-1273 will end up passing the test. It's still early, but what we've seen so far looks promising.

Watchers for life

Elsewhere, shares of Netflix were up 11%, hitting all-time highs. The streaming video specialist has gotten a big new audience during the pandemic, and now, many are starting to think that Netflix will hang onto those customers even once it ends.

With so many people stuck at home during lockdowns, Netflix has been extremely popular. The service added nearly 26 million subscribers in the first half of 2020. However, skeptics believe that as soon as people can get back out and about, they're just as likely to cancel the services that they signed up for during the pandemic, including Netflix.

However, a survey from analyst company Piper Sandler came to a different conclusion. Answers to a questionnaire given to 1,000 participants overwhelmingly picked Netflix as the service that the most people would keep after stay-at-home restrictions get lifted. Competitors also fared reasonably well but were still well behind.

Netflix can also take comfort from a separate survey that found that people would keep watching even if the company boosts subscription prices. That could give shareholders the next shot in the arm they need to keep the FAANG stock moving higher.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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