Stocks rally on vaccine news, Yellen speculation

Stocks rallied Monday on another dose of upbeat vaccine news.

This time it was AstraZeneca: the latest drugmaker to tout success in late-stage clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, which it said could be around 90 percent effective.

That news sent the Dow 327 points higher. The rest of the market was subdued as stay-at-home stocks faltered. The S&P 500 rose only 20 points. The Nasdaq gained 25.

Hilary Kramer of Kramer Capital Research says she thinks this is the start of the end-of-year stock upswing known as the Santa Claus rally.

"We will see a real Santa Claus rally coming, and this is the beginning of it, because the big money managers, they all start having this group think and marking up their books, so to speak. So we will see continued buying. The bigger concern is winter and spring when there's an anticipation of tax rates rising and a lot of money that are going to start to trim some of those big positions, those triples, quadruples in the technology stocks."

One of the sectors that lead Monday's rally: airlines. The TSA said it screened over 3 million passengers in the weekend ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. That's the busiest airports have been since mid-March. American Airlines was the biggest stock gainer of the pack - up more than 8 percent. Delta was up 4-1/2 percent. JetBlue was up more than 4 percent.

A familiar face could be headed back to Washington to help President-Elect Joe Biden with financial issues. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen is likely Biden's pick as the next Treasury Secretary, two Democratic allies confirmed to Reuters after a report in the Wall Street Journal. Biden’s camp declined to comment. Yellen was a steady hand at the top of the Fed in the years following the financial crisis.