Moderna gave investors some hopeful news on Monday. The biotech said its vaccine candidate could be over 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections. Combined with similarly positive news from drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech last week, the market began to look ahead to a post-pandemic economic recovery.
Coronavirus-related business closures and plummeting demand for travel services led to a sharp decline in oil prices during the early stages of the pandemic. That, in turn, resulted in steep losses for oil and gas titans Chevron and ExxonMobil. Even businesses that are less exposed to energy price fluctuations, like pipeline giant Kinder Morgan, saw reduced demand for their services and corresponding profit shortfalls.
Investors responded by selling off shares of the major energy companies. Before today, Chevron, Exxon, and Kinder Morgan's stock prices were down 31%, 38%, and 48%, respectively, in 2020.
However, hopes that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine could spur an economic recovery have ignited a rebound in energy stocks in recent days. And Moderna's news helped to accelerate the rally.
A sharp economic recovery would certainly be good news for energy companies, as the resulting higher demand for energy would be likely to drive prices -- and therefore profits -- up across the industry. Thus, Exxon, Chevron, and Kinder Morgan could see their stocks continue to rally as more progress is made on the coronavirus vaccine development front.