Disney shares jump on positive vaccine news

Disney cast members welcome guests to Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

(Photo by Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

Shares of Disney closed up nearly 12% Monday after drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech reported positive results from their Covid-19 vaccine trial, leading investors to flock back toward travel-heavy stocks.

Traders have spent the last several months piling into technology stocks that benefitted from people staying at home, such as Zoom Video and Peloton. But after the pharmaceutical companies announced their vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those without evidence of prior infection, investors seemed to step back from the high-flying names and flocked toward companies that would benefit from the economy reopening.

Disney has continued to feel the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its parks and studio entertainment segments suffering steep losses. The pandemic also forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division in late September.

The company said in its fiscal third quarter earnings report that it took a $3.5 billion hit to its operating income from parks being closed during the quarter. Revenue for the Parks, Experiences and Products segment, which includes cruises, resorts and merchandise, fell 85% to below $1 billion during the quarter. The company’s studio entertainment revenues also dropped 55% in the quarter to $1.7 billion. 

The company is set to release its fiscal fourth quarter results Thursday after the bell.

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