US stocks continue to climb toward new records as Wall Street looked to keep its historic November rally going into the end of 2020.
On Tuesday futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones industrial average rose 328 points, or roughly 1.1 percent, to 29,957 as of 7:47 a.m. as the blue-chip index looked to erase Monday’s losses after posting its best monthly gain since 1987.
Additionally, S&P 500 futures also jumped about 1 percent to 3,660.25, putting the benchmark index on track to hit a new all-time intraday high after the opening bell. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, meanwhile, were recently up about 0.9 percent.
According to experts, investors were holding onto optimism about a coronavirus vaccine bringing an end to the pandemic and helping the economy return to normal in the coming months. Partner drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech boosted those hopes after announcing they now pursuing FDA approval of their COVID-19 vaccine.
On Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell plans to tell lawmakers that the nation’s economic outlook is “extraordinarily uncertain” and could be challenged by the nationwide surge in COVID-19 infections.
“As we have emphasized throughout the pandemic, the outlook for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend, in large part, on the success of efforts to keep the virus in check,” he said. “The rise in new COVID-19 cases, both here and abroad, is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months. A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.”
Powell called the recent news on vaccines “very positive” for the medium term, but said “significant challenges and uncertainties remain, “including timing, production and distribution, and efficacy across different groups.”