Day Traders Diary


The major averages closed sharply higher as traders grew more optimistic about Congress passing another economic relief package. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 337 points, or 1.1%, to 30,199. The S&P 500 advanced 1.3%, or 47 points, to 3,694, snapping a four-day losing streak. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3%, or 155 points, to 12,595, reaching a new record closing high.

Apple led the Dow higher, jumping 5% after Nikkei reported the company will increase iPhone production by about 30% in the first half of 2021. All 11 S&P 500 sectors registered gains on Tuesday, led by energy and utilities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, to discuss government funding and coronavirus relief, a source told CNBC. Pelosi's outreach came after a bipartisan group of lawmakers released a proposal for another round of economic relief on Monday evening, splitting a previous measure into two parts.

The new plan calls for $748 billion in spending for programs that are popular on both sides of the aisle, including an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits and another $300 billion for more loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

A second $160 billion bill would include the more contentious areas of business liability protections and financial aid to state and local governments.

The latest step toward a stimulus deal comes as investors and Americans at large grapple with a bleak near-term outlook but prospects of economic growth and a possible end of the pandemic in 2021.

The first round of shots from the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech were given in the U.S. on Monday, but the country also passed 300,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also warned residents that a full shutdown may be needed to protect the city's hospitals.

Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust, said that another stimulus package was needed to keep the economic recovery from stalling before the vaccine can be distributed.

On Tuesday morning, the Food and Drug Administration said the data on Moderna's coronavirus vaccine met expectations for emergency use, a crucial step before a full approval. If the FDA greenlights the vaccine, it would be the second approved for use in the U.S. behind Pfizer's.

The S&P 500 has gained more than 14% for the year despite the ongoing pandemic, leading some to believe that near-term upside could be limited.

U.S. Treasuries finished on a lower note, particularly longer-dated maturities since shorter-dated maturities remained anchored by the Fed. The 2-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.12%, and the 10-yr yield increased three basis points to 0.92%. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.3% to 90.45. WTI crude futures rose 1.3%, or $0.59, to $47.59/bbl.

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