Stocks closed modestly higher on Wall Street Wednesday, keeping major indexes at or near record highs. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, keeping it just below the all-time high it reached on Monday, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched another record. Small-company stocks again outpaced their larger rivals by a large margin, as they have been doing all month. That’s a sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy, the AP reports. Investors were also encouraged to see that Britain had authorized a coronavirus vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca which is easier to transport than others. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 3732.04. The Dow Jones closed at 30,409.56 points, up 73.89 points, or 0.24%, and the Nasdaq rose 19.78 points, or 0.15%, to 12,870.
Stocks have been mostly grinding higher in recent weeks, with indexes setting new highs, amid optimism that coronavirus vaccinations will pave the way in coming months for the economy to escape from the pandemic’s grip. Ahead of the final day of trading in 2020, the S&P 500 is up 15.5% this year, while the Nasdaq is up 43.6%. Investors are optimistic about more vaccines gaining approval and reaching the market in coming weeks, though the potential for logistics problems remains, says Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. "The hiccups are the actual rollout," he says. "Approving them is one thing, but getting them out and into people’s arms is another thing."
(Read more stock market