S&P 500 climbs to record high as vaccine hopes lift economy-linked stocks

  • US stocks rose on Tuesday as vaccine progress further boosted equities hit hardest by the pandemic. The S&P 500 rose to a record intraday high.
  • Investors cheered Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for regulatory approval in the EU. The filing could allow for the shot to be distributed before the new year.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is expected to warn of lingering risks to the US economy during morning testimony to the Senate Banking Committee.
  • Bitcoin fell as much as 6.3%, to $US18,157.38 after hitting record highs on Monday.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude decreased as much as 1.2%, to $US44.81 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks gained on Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average completed its best month since 1987.

The S&P 500 opened at a record high as vaccine progress continued to lift stocks battered the most by the coronavirus pandemic. Pfizer and BioNTech applied for regulatory approval in the European Union for its vaccine candidate, potentially allowing distribution of the shot to begin before the new year.

Separately, Moderna applied for emergency-use authorization in the US for its own leading candidate Monday afternoon.

Here’s where US indexes stood soon after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:


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Cyclical and value stocks outperformed, while moves out of tech bets led the Nasdaq composite to lag its peers.

Investors will likely tune into testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell is set to highlight the economic risks of the coronavirus’s resurgence. It’s unlikely the chair will hint at upcoming Fed actions, though policymakers next meet on December 15 and 16 to discuss the central bank’s policy stance.

“The rise in new COVID-19 cases, both here and abroad, is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months,” he said in remarks published ahead of the hearing. “A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.”

The market’s uptick retraces Monday losses and pulls stocks’ bullish trend into December. Equities dipped to start the week as investors secured profits. Major indexes still posted historic monthly gains, largely driven by encouraging vaccine news that dulled the impact of soaring COVID-19 cases.


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Tesla gained after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the automaker will be added to the S&P 500 in one step on December 21. A multi-stage process for including Tesla in the index was previously considered.

Zoom Video tumbled after guiding for slower sales growth through the end of the year. Though the company’s third-quarter report beat Wall Street estimates, moderating growth led some to question whether the stock’s 200% rally from the market’s March low is sustainable.

Bitcoin tumbled further from Monday’s record highs to a 24-hour low of $US18,157.38. The cryptocurrency came within $US80 of trading above $US20,000 yesterday before outsized selling stifled the rally.

Spot gold jumped as much as 2.2%, to $US1,815.21 per ounce. The US dollar weakened the majority of Group-of-10 peers and Treasury yields climbed.

Oil prices dipped as OPEC members deliberated over delaying a production hike scheduled for January. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 1.2%, to $US44.81 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 0.4%, to $US47.39 per barrel, at intraday lows.


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