What happened

Shares of Macy's (NYSE:M) were soaring 13% higher in morning trading Monday as more good news on a COVID-19 vaccine was released.

So what

AstraZeneca and Oxford University reported the vaccine they're working on was up to 90% effective without any serious side effects in a large trial, giving hope to investors there could be a recovery in the retail sector.

Macy's Herald Square store

Image source: Macy's.

On Friday, Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine, which was found to be more than 90% effective in trials. The pharmaceutical giant said the vaccine could begin shipping as soon as the middle of next month.

Now what

Macy's stock has more than doubled from its March lows, but remains nearly 50% below where it started 2020 due to the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis also caused the cancellation of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, a fixture of New York City and an iconic cultural event. It's only been canceled three times previously, all during the early 1940s due to a helium shortage caused by World War II.

The department store chain, however, was ailing well before the pandemic struck. The pandemic simply exacerbated the fault lines within its operation. 

Its stock got a boost last week, though, after the company reported better-than-expected earnings that were nonetheless disastrous. Investors began to feel Macy's will be able to survive the current climate, and with the vaccine developments, they're expecting its performance to dramatically improve.

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