Home-improvement projects and household basics are propping up big-box retailers as the coronavirus intensifies again. Walmart posted its third consecutive quarter of growth, driven by a 79% jump in e-commerce sales. Target Corp. said comparable sales rose 20.7% as the retailer gobbled up market share from pandemic-stricken rivals. And Home Depot Inc. is increasing pay for front-line workers after the pandemic brought another strong quarter. Walmart shares fell 2% Tuesday.
Another drugmaker provided a boost to hopes that a coronavirus vaccine might be right around the corner. Moderna said Monday that its experimental shot was 94.5% effective at protecting people from Covid-19, according to an early analysis of study results. Regulators still need to review more complete data expected later this month. Moderna said it plans to seek authorization from federal health authorities by early December. A rival drugmaker, Pfizer Inc., released final data showing its vaccine to be 95% effective, the company said Wednesday. Pfizer is on track to begin distributing its shot by the end of the year if regulators give the green light. Moderna shares rose 9.6% Monday.