The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 on Tuesday closed at records as traders weighed the impact the fast-spreading delta virus variant might have on the economy's recovery and monitored comments from Federal Reserve officials about scaling back support.
The Dow finished up 162 points, or 0.46%, to 35,264 and the S&P 500 ticked up 0.1%. The Dow and S&P 500 also reached all-time intraday highs on Tuesday.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose slightly Tuesday to 1.346%. Oil prices rebounded from Monday's slump.
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said the central bank's tapering of bond purchases could begin in the fourth quarter. The Fed has been buying $120 billion a month in Treasury, agency and mortgage bonds.
Bostic added that if employment gains maintain their strong pace, he was open to an even earlier start for pulling back on stimulus. Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan also has said the Fed should begin gradually tapering asset purchases sooner rather than later.
Bostic also noted that inflation, by his estimates, was at the Fed's goal of 2%, one of the central bank's main criteria for boosting interest rates.
Investors will be closely watching data on consumer prices and producer prices later this week.
Meanwhile, new coronavirus cases in the U.S. have reached their highest weekly level since February, while deaths have increased the most since December, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Nearly 617,000 Americans have died from the virus.
The Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s rebuilding plan moves to the House for a vote.
Shares of AMC Entertainment (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report gave up gains and ended 6.1% lower on Tuesday. The world's biggest movie theater chain posted a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss, capitalizing on big blockbuster films and a rebound in traffic in the waning months of the coronavirus pandemic.