Nasdaq and S&P 500 End at Records; Stocks Rise on Stimulus Hopes

Stocks rise as Wall Street weighs prospects for a near-term aid plan for the struggling U.S. economy.
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Stocks ended higher Tuesday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closing at records, as Wall Street weighed prospects for a near-term aid plan for the struggling U.S. economy and the world witnessed a woman get the first inoculation with Pfizer's  (PFE) - Get Report Covid-19 vaccine. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 104 points, or 0.35%, to 30,174, the S&P 500 gained 0.28% and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%. The S&P 500 ended at 3,702.25, while the Nasdaq finished at 12,582.77. 

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report ended 1.3% higher after the electric carmaker said it would sell around $5 billion of shares as it prepares for its S&P 500 debut in about two weeks. The stock had been lower for most of the trading day.

The U.K. on Tuesday became the first western country to begin immunizing its citizens with a Covid-19 vaccine, the shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report. Margaret Keenan, 90 years old, became the first person in the world to receive the coronavirus vaccine approved by health authorities. 

The Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. could approve the Pfizer vaccine as early as Thursday, and if it does, distribution in the country could begin within 24 hours, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The FDA said Tuesday that Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine could provide benefit to recipients after just one dose.

Deaths in the U.S. from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have topped 284,100, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country is averaging about as many deaths from the virus as in April, Bloomberg reported.

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As for negotiations over a coronavirus relief bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be the major roadblock to securing an agreement. Both Democratic and Republican senators have said the prospects for a compromise on a $908 billion bill would come down to McConnell, who keeps pushing his own plan with a smaller price tag.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday, however, that Republican congressional leaders plan to talk with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Tuesday about a Covid-19 relief package. McConnell is expected to speak with Mnuchin and Meadows.

McConnell has said he won't put forth a bill that doesn't include limits on Covid-19-related lawsuits.

The pricing for DoorDash's initial public offering is expected after the closing bell Tuesday. On Monday, the biggest U.S. food delivery company boosted the pricing range to between $90 and $95 a share as it looks to raise around $3.1 billion.

Stitch Fix  (SFIX) - Get Report soared after the subscription-based apparel retailer posted fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that topped Wall Street forecasts.