S&P 500, Nasdaq Close at Records

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, setting the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to new records after two positive moves to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health stocks rebounded on news that the Britain started using cans of the vaccine developed by

Pfizer

and Germany’s BioNTech. Pfizer stocks, which hit a year high, led the healthcare sector.

Signs that lawmakers are continuing to push for the completion of a new Covid-19 bailout package also boosted the stock market. Bloomberg reported Republican Congress leaders planned to speak to White House officials to advance talks on a roughly $ 900 billion Covid-19 aid deal. Tech stocks had been in the red prior to the report and steadily gained ground in the second half of the session.

Investors have followed the talks closely in hopes that Republicans and Democrats will reach an agreement on further incentives. In the absence of any deal, many fear the looming economic recovery is at risk as coronavirus infections, hospital stays and deaths spike across the country, and a soaring stock market sees a retreat.

The emergency aid package is “necessary to help the companies that are suffering,” said Gero Jung, chief economist at Mirabaud Asset Management. “The improvement in the labor market has slowed significantly so help is still needed. It is important; it affects market sentiment. ”

The S&P 500 rose 10.29 points, or 0.3%, to 3702.25, while the Nasdaq rose 62.83 points, or 0.5%, to 12582.77, both closing at their all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose higher, rising 104.09 points, or 0.3%, to 30173.88, missing a new milestone.

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The legislature had difficulties finding a solution on Monday one of two large stumbling blocks left in their efforts to reach an agreement on the emergency spending program. The leaders of Congress said they plan to extend the current government budget by a week to allow more time to negotiate both bills.

Despite the surge in coronavirus cases, the U.S. stock market has managed to hit new heights thanks to advances in vaccines and brief signs of progress in finalizing another package of economic aid. The S&P 500 is up 15% this year, with the most recent surge coming after the news about Pfizer’s vaccine.

The analysts remain optimistic for the next year and put their hopes for further profits on a rebound in corporate earnings, according to analysts. When Covid-19 cases reach a tipping point, analysts say they need to revise their forecasts.

“There’s this back and forth between the fact that we’re so close to seeing the end of good news about the vaccine and another blow to economic performance if the vaccine hasn’t come when we get one cases continue to rise, ”said Georgina Taylor, a multi-asset fund manager at Invesco. “It’s still a real problem for the markets.”

Energy company stocks topped the S&P 500 on a percentage basis, up 1.6% on Tuesday. Healthcare stocks rose 0.7% while Pfizer stocks rose $ 1.31, or 3.2%, to $ 42.56.

The S&P 500 is up 15% this year.


Photo:

John Nacion / Zuma Press

Consumer staples and industrials also traded higher, up 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.

Tech company stocks rose 0.3% after recovering from earlier losses.

Tesla stock rose $ 8.12, or 1.3%, to $ 649.88, according to the chief executive

Elon Musk

said at the Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council Summit that he had moved to Texas after sparring with authorities in California for a long time. Shares had previously fallen after the automaker announced it would sell up to $ 5 billion worth of shares.

Uber was down 79 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 53.01 after the hailstorm sold its self-driving auto business to a rival.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%. Across Asia, most major benchmarks were closed. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2% and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong fell 0.8%.

Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected] and Michael Wursthorn at [email protected]

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