Stocks End Modestly Higher as Investors Assess Recovery Prospects

Stocks finish gently higher as investors assess the political turmoil in Washington and prospects for more economic stimulus.
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Stocks finished modestly higher Tuesday as investors assessed the political turmoil in Washington and prospects for more stimulus to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 60 points, or 0.19%, to 31,068, the S&P 500 edged up 0.04% and the Nasdaq rose 0.28%.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond rose to 1.177%, the highest since March, as investors anticipated more government spending after the Joe Biden administration takes office next week. Biden has promised further economic stimulus “in the trillions of dollars.”

The jump in bond yields also was linked to comments from Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic, who said he wasn't "super concerned" about the rise in longer-term yields and didn't think the Fed would need to track them too closely.

Stocks closed lower Monday and the S&P 500 ended a four-day winning streak as Wall Street's record-setting rally paused amid political and economic uncertainties. The Nasdaq was the big loser, falling 1.3%, as shares of tech heavyweights declined after they removed President Donald Trump's accounts from their platforms following the storming of the Capitol last week by his supporters.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, meanwhile, on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" following last week's deadly invasion of the Capitol.

House Democrats said they plan to vote on impeaching Trump on Wednesday unless he resigns or Vice President Mike Pence invokes constitutional authority to remove Trump from office. Pence has indicated he would reject demands from the House.

Bitcoin was down by 3% to $34,384, according to a quote on Yahoo Finance. The figure also reflected a plunge from Sunday into Monday that took the world's largest cryptocurrency down as much as 26%.

That drop - the worst two-day decline since March - followed the all-time high of almost $42,000 that bitcoin hit last Friday. Investors continued to show interest in the digital currency as a hedge against inflation and an alternative to the falling dollar. The price of bitcoin has more than quadrupled in the past 12 months.

Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) - Get Report rose 5.7% Tuesday after the videoconferencing company said it planned to sell around $1.5 billion in new stock.