Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, breaking a four-day losing streak for the S&P 500. Small-company stocks did especially well, a sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about prospects for the economy, the AP reports. A measure of small-company stocks hit a record high, as did the Nasdaq composite. Investors were hopeful that Washington can get past its partisan divide to deliver more aid to the struggling economy. Hopes are also rising for the economy’s prospects as regulatory approval for a second COVID-19 vaccine may be imminent. The S&P 500 rose 47.13 points, or 1.29%, to 3,694.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 337.76 points, or 1.13%, to 30,199.31, and the Nasdaq rose 155.02 points, or 1.25%, to 12,595.06. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies surged 45.91 points, or 2.40% to 1,959.76.
Another big gain for Apple also helped to lift Wall Street. It’s the most influential stock in the S&P 500 because of the company's massive market value, and it rose 4% after a report from Japan’s Nikkei said it may produce more iPhones in the first half of 2021 than analysts had been expecting. Worries about the worsening pandemic and stop-and-start talks in Washington about support for the economy have made the market shaky in recent weeks, but the S&P 500 remains near its record set a week ago. Massive efforts by the Federal Reserve have provided another huge underpinning, and the central bank begins its last policy meeting of the year on Tuesday.
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