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The outside of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The stock market closed up more than 3% on Monday — the biggest rally in over a month — amid news that Moderna's phase one coronavirus vaccine trial showed a positive first step.

Why it matters: The stock market has rebounded in recent weeks in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which has pushed the U.S. economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Long-time investors have warned about stocks' high valuations based on optimism about a vaccine or cure, as well as the economy's ability to fully rebound.

The big picture: Congress passed coronavirus relief to support workers and small businesses during the economic lockdown. Another stimulus package passed the House, but faces opposition in the Senate.

  • The Federal Reserve has also taken unprecedented steps to launch lending facilities to shore up the economy — and more support could be coming.
  • "There's really no limit to what we can do with these lending programs that we have," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told 60 Minutes last night, an interview that some traders said helped optimism on Wall Street.

By the numbers:

  • The S&P 500 rose 3.1%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 911 points (or 3.8%).
  • The Nasdaq Composite climbed 2.4%.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

Investors are looking for more action from the Fed in the coming months

Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

Minutes from the Fed's July policy meeting were released Wednesday and policymakers' dour outlook suggests that more easing and stimulus could be on the way, strategists who closely watch the central bank say.

Why it matters: More liquidity from the Fed could mean more gains for stock and bond prices and further erosion of the dollar.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.