Stocks traded higher on Tuesday as Congress continued negotiations on another economic relief package and COVID-19 vaccines began to roll out across the country.
The Dow Jones Industrials shot higher 140.2 points midday at 30,001.75. Apple led the Dow higher, rising 3.5%, after Nikkei reported the company will increase iPhone production by about 30% in the first half of 2021.
The S&P 500 climbed 18.22 points to 3,665.71. Tech and energy were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, gaining 1.2% each.
The NASDAQ gained 42.43 points to 12,482.47.
Even with recent weakness for the S&P 500 and Dow, the three major indexes are up sharply for the year, trading near record highs.
Lawmakers released the latest proposal for another round of economic relief on Monday evening, splitting a previous bipartisan proposal into two parts.
The new plan calls for $748 billion in spending for programs that are popular on both sides of the aisle, including an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits and another $300 billion for more loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
A second $160-billion bill would include the more contentious areas of business liability protections and financial aid to state and local governments.
The latest step toward a stimulus deal comes as investors and Americans at large grapple with a bleak near-term outlook but prospects of economic growth and the possible end of the pandemic in 2021.
The first round of shots from the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech were given in the U.S. on Monday, but the country also passed 300,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also warned residents that a full shutdown may be needed to protect the city’s hospitals.
On Tuesday morning, the Food and Drug Administration said the data on Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine met expectations for emergency use, a crucial step before a full approval. If the FDA greenlights the vaccine, it would be the second approved for use in the U.S. behind Pfizer’s. Shares of Moderna dipped 3.4%.
The Federal Reserve will begin its two-day December meeting on Tuesday, with a policy statement and press conference for Chair Jerome Powell scheduled for Wednesday.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury dipped, raising yields to 0.91% from Monday’s 0.90%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices recovered 61 cents to $47.60 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices brightened $17.50 to $1,849.60