Shares detracted from income after reaching new document highs

Stocks were mostly flat on Tuesday after hitting new highs as traders weighed the possibility that Congress approved even more fiscal stimulus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average only rose 26 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was down marginally. All three main averages reached record highs at the Open. At its session high, the Dow rose more than 100 points.

Boeing was up 0.9% when its beleaguered 737 Max jet flew again in the US. Healthcare was the top performing S&P 500 sector, up 0.8%.

The House passed a bill late Monday to increase direct payments from $ 600, which is included in a relief package recently signed by President Donald Trump, to $ 2,000. Trump had previously requested a direct payment of $ 2,000 to Americans. However, the Senate Republicans have spoken out against larger direct payments despite Trump’s demands.

Wall Street had had a tough session. Sentiment was bolstered by Trump signing a $ 900 billion coronavirus aid package.

“The combination of vaccine launches, fiscal stimulus and simple monetary policy continue to create a positive backdrop for stocks through 2021,” wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “The agreement on a new stimulus package for the US removes the most recent hurdle, and global central banks continue to support the recovery by maintaining (and expanding) monetary provisions.”

The shares head into the year-end with surprisingly strong gains. At the start of Tuesday’s session, the S&P 500 rose 15.6% in 2020 and the Dow rose 6.5% over that period. The Nasdaq Composite is up more than 43% in 2020 as investors flocked to big tech names like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.

However, the number of coronavirus cases in the US continues to rise, raising doubts about the economic recovery in the new year. Last week, at least 184,000 new infections per day were reported in the United States, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

“Vaccine distribution has now officially started … but the pandemic has reached proportions on several fronts,” wrote Jason Pride, CIO for personal wealth at Glenmede.

“The virus resurgence has led to lockdown measures nationwide and slowed economic reopening efforts. If virus spread is not brought under control by the end of the year, this will likely be a key initiative to do so in early 2021, before a vaccine widely spread is distributed, “added Pride.

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