Steady gains throughout the day delivered another round of record highs for major indexes on Wall Street Tuesday. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 3,702.25, closing above 3,700 points for the first time . The tech-heavy Nasdaq also hit a record high. Small-company stocks rose much more than the rest of the market, a signal that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy, the AP reports. The gains, which came after a shaky start for the market, came as the UK became the first Western country to start a mass vaccination program. The Dow Jones rose 104.09 points, or 0.35% to 30,173, 44 points short of the record it set last week. The Nasdaq rose 62.83 points, or 0.5%, to 12,582.77.
Stocks had been down in the early going on worries about rising coronavirus cases, but turned higher around midday. Investors are looking ahead to Thursday, when US regulators will meet to determine whether to green-light the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech. "The vaccine news and the focus on that is the most important thing for the market at the moment," says Stephanie Roth, portfolio macro analyst, JP Morgan Private Bank. "At this point, the excitement is for the post-vaccine world." Investors are also keeping a close eye on Washington. Congress is still stuck in a partisan stalemate over the size and scope of any additional aid to help cushion the financial impact to people and businesses.
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