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Stocks head for strong weekly close following vaccine, election news

Stock markets on Friday opened higher, heading toward significant gains for the week after Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency and Pfizer announced successful test results on its coronavirus vaccine. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 200 points, or 0.7 percent, and the S&P 500 rose 25 points, or 0.7 percent.

A positive Friday close would conclude a strong week for markets, which reacted positively to the likelihood that Biden will be president and Republicans will hold the Senate majority, with Democrats holding the House majority.

Stocks have typically performed best under divided government.

Two runoff races in Georgia in January will determine the Senate majority. Democrats would have to win both races to win the majority.

Pfizer’s news that its coronavirus vaccine was proving 90 percent effective in recent trials also put a timeline for effectively ending the pandemic in sight.

Stocks did retreat on Thursday as markets weighed the economic costs of rising COVID-19 cases.

New cases have topped 100,000 daily for over a week, with deaths topping 1,000 per day.

The rising cases and deaths make new restrictions likely, which could hamper economic growth.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Joe Biden Wall Street

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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