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US stocks climb as Wall Street looks to build on November rally

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US stocks were poised to climb toward new records Tuesday as Wall Street looked to keep its historic rally going into December.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones industrial average rose 328 points, or roughly 1.1 percent, to 29,957 as of 7:47 a.m. as the blue-chip index looked to erase Monday’s losses after posting its best monthly gain since 1987.

S&P 500 futures also jumped about 1 percent to 3,660.25, putting the benchmark index on track to hit a new all-time intraday high after the opening bell. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, meanwhile, were recently up about 0.9 percent.

The gains indicated investors were holding onto optimism about a coronavirus vaccine bringing an end to the pandemic and helping the economy return to normal in the coming months. Partner drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech boosted those hopes Tuesday by announcing they had asked European regulators for conditional approval of their COVID-19 shot.

“Increasing cases in Europe and the United States have brought new restrictions on activities, but the market doesn’t appear to be fazed by the recent outbreaks,” said Jeff Buchbinder, an equity strategist at LPL Financial. “Progress on developing vaccines has provided a clear boost to sentiment, but prospects for a divided Congress and the potential for more fiscal policy support also may be playing a role.”

Investors also got an encouraging signal from China on Tuesday — a business survey showed activity in that country’s factory sector speeding up at the fastest pace in a decade last month.

The data “showed there was a solid recovery in play in the world’s manufacturing heart,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

But the raging coronavirus pandemic still poses a risk to the market and the economy. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell plans to tell lawmakers on Tuesday that the nation’s economic outlook is “extraordinarily uncertain” and could be challenged by the nationwide surge in COVID-19 infections.

Wall Street was nevertheless poised to follow European markets higher Tuesday. London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.9 percent as of 7:40 a.m., while Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 percent and Paris’ CAC 40 was recently up 1 percent.

With Post wires



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