Stocks are surging on news of a 90% effective Covid-19 vaccine, and CNBC’s Jim Cramer said investors should be excited about what the scientific breakthrough means for everyday life and the stock market.
“If you think about where we were last week, where we felt that there was very little chance to be able to stop this thing, now suddenly we have hope,” Cramer said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
He spoke after U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced that their Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 during trials. This is more effective than most market participants were expecting, and U.S. equities were poised to soar at the open on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures popped 1,600 points or more than 6%. S&P 500 futures jumped 4.3%.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, told CNBC the vaccine could be available in limited use as early as late December and widely available by the third quarter of 2021.
“I think that the rally is justifiable,” said Cramer. “I think we’re going to start a new discussion, and the discussion is what’s America going to look like post Covid.”
News of the vaccine comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad. Over the past seven days, the country has reported an average of more than 103,800 new cases as of Saturday, up over 30% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins.
“We came in here thinking that the disease is out of control. There where some states where we just felt like we lost any ability to contain, that there really wasn’t anything we could do,” said Cramer. “People were talking about a national lockdown or local lockdown under a new president, and this may end that.”
Pfizer said it plans to submit for emergency use authorization to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration soon after there’s two months of data, which is currently on track for the third week of November.
“This is not a company that’s never brought anything to market. This is one of the greatest companies in the world, I want to point out that the cynicism about science was unrelenting,” Cramer added. “There’s a belief among some people that science was never going to be able to tackle this. That’s wrong, too.”
Despite the positive vaccine news, Cramer said struggling Americans still need a second stimulus bill from the federal government.
“There’s small and medium sized businesses that are being hurt, and there should be I think some compensation,” said Cramer. “What happens if travel returns, what happens if countries all over the place come back given all the stimulus. Of course they’ll be naysayers, these are probably people that missed the rally. This is a reason for genuine optimism, why don’t we just celebrate it?”
“There’s a lot of people who felt growth was going to drop dramatically, and I think that’s going to be off the table and people will have to radically revise their estimates up from next year,” Cramer added.
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