COVID-19 Vaccine News Boosts and Shifts Investor Outlook for S&P 500

The S&P 500 (Index: SPX) closed out the second week of November 2020 by climbing 1.4% to reach 3,585.15 on Friday, 13 November 2020, a new recordhigh for the index.

From our perspective, the move comes as part of the third Lévy flight event of the last three weeks, as investors would appear to be the completion of a shift in their forward looking focus beyond the current quarter of 2020-Q4 toward the more distant future quarter of 2021-Q3.

The latest update to the alternative futures chart shows that change and also an upward shift in the potential future trajectories the S&P 500 might take depending upon how far into the future investors fix their forward-looking attention.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2020Q4 - Standard Model (m=+1.5 from 22 September 2020) - Snapshot on 13 Nov 2020

We think this latest shift in the time horizon of investors coincides with the positive news of the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine in its Phase 3 testing. Developed by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), some 100 million doses for Americans would be funded by the Trump administration's Warp Speed initiative for accelerating the distribution of newly developed, effective COVID vaccines in 2021.

The news also boosted expectations for dividends through all quarters extending out in the foreseeable future, with the largest positive changes seen in future quarters through 2021-Q3. The following animated chart shows the change in the expected future for the S&P 500's dividends on Monday, 9 November 2020 after the news first broke. [Please click here to access the chart on our site if you're accessing this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed.]

Animation: S&P 500 Past and Projected Future Quarterly Dividends per Share, Snapshots on 2020-11-06 and 2020-11-09

Here's a recap of the week's market moving headlines.

Monday, 9 November 2020
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Thursday, 12 November 2020
Friday, 13 November 2020

Elsewhere, Barry Ritholtz lists all the positives and negatives he found in the past week's economics and markets news.