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Nasdaq and S&P 500 End at Records on Vaccine Approval, Strong Earnings

Stocks close at record levels following the FDA's full approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, a rally of Chinese stocks and as strong earnings boost sentiment.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Free Report and BioNTech's  (BNTX) - Get Free Report COVID-19 vaccine, beaten-down Chinese technology stocks rallied and strong earnings from companies such as Best Buy  (BBY) - Get Free Report boosted sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 30 points, or 0.1%, to 35,366, the S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.5%. 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set all-time intraday record highs Tuesday, with the Nasdaq hitting 15,000 for the first time and closing at 15,019.

Chinese stocks listed in the U.S., such as Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Free Report and Pinduoduo  (PDD) - Get Free Report, rose on Tuesday in a major bounce-back from a recent plunge following Beijing's crackdown on the sector.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose Tuesday to 1.294%.

Jim Cramer: Why Hasn't the Government Pushed for Mass Vaccination?

Stocks finished higher Monday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high, after the FDA issued full approval for the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner.

Equities rose with investors believing the FDA approval could lead to more formal vaccine mandates from companies and organizations around the country as Delta variant infections accelerate.

TheStreet's Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" viewers that Monday's stock market rally was fueled by the full approval of Pfizer's COVID vaccine, even though that approval was expected by pretty much everyone.

The market has been so hungry for good news, Cramer said, that even the most obvious of news can send stocks higher.

Cramer's Mad Money Recap: Pfizer, Chipotle, Southwest

The boost from the FDA's full approval of the coronavirus vaccine spilled over into the commodities markets, with oil prices in the U.S. rising solidly for a second day.

The Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole symposium will take place virtually beginning Thursday, with a keynote address from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell scheduled for Friday.

“I don’t expect a lot of fireworks (at the meeting)," Jefferies managing director David Zervos told Yahoo Finance. "I think this is not the time nor the place to bring up a ‘we’re about to start tapering.’”

The Fed has been buying about $120 billion a month of Treasury securities and mortgage bonds to help prop up the economy during the pandemic.

Shares of Best Buy  (BBY) - Get Free Report finished higher Tuesday after the electronics retailer posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and boosted its full-year sales forecast as major U.S. retailers continue to show impressive same-store traffic growth.

Jim Cramer Says Best Buy Stock Isn't Done Going Higher