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Vaccine Progress Gives Shot in the Arm to Stock Market 

05-19-2020
A pedestrian walks by a store, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

News of a potential vaccine gave a shot in the arm to the stock market on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up more than 900 points and oil prices improved, closing over $30 a barrel for the first time in two months.

Drugmaker Moderna reported its experimental vaccine induced immune responses in volunteers. It added the company's vaccine could be ready for emergency use as early as the fall if it works safely in subsequent testing. The Food and Drug Administration also gave Moderna permission to begin the second stage of testing, which could put it on track to create a public vaccine by year's end.

Analysts attribute the stock market rise to positive news of the vaccine and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's remarks Sunday that the economy will come back, especially after a vaccine is found.

Powell said, "People will have to be fully confident and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine."

He also said Congress needs to do more help businesses and individuals stay solvent. That comes as the massive $3 trillion relief bill passed by House Democrats is facing strong opposition in the Senate.

On CBN's Faith Nation, Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore said the bill is a Democrat-funded disaster. He says it "encourages more unemployment, pays bankrupt cities and states for their pension problems. Moore says the US has already spent $3 trillion on virus aid and doesn't need to spend "another 3 trillion."

And there's word that a federal program to help small businesses has distributed only a fraction of the money allocated. Of the $500 billion available, the Treasury Department has given out only $37.5 billion.

Monday, President Trump called his top economic advisors together to talk about moving the economy forward through so-called "opportunity zones."   

The president tweeted: "Doing really well, medically, on solving the coronavirus situation (plague!). It will happen!"

President Trump's meeting with top economic advisers struck an encouraging tone. It comes in the wake of some other blunt comments from Powell. 

"We won't get back to where we were quickly," Powell said.  "We won't get back to where we were by the end of the year, it's not likely to happen."

Still, he's optimistic there we'll see signs of a rebound in the second half of the year. This comes after the Labor Department reported last week that more than 35 million Americans have sought help for unemployment because of the pandemic.

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