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Source: Carlo Allegri/Reuters
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  • Wall Street ended in the green on Tuesday, pushing all three major US stock indexes higher
  • Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 finished at all-time closing highs, with the S&P 500 recording its 50th record close this year
  • While tech stocks did much of the heavy lifting, economically sensitive stocks outperformed the wider market
  • Positive sentiments sparked by the US FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday bubbled over into Tuesday’s session
  • Investors will now be paying close attention to the Jackson Hole Symposium scheduled to take place on Friday

Wall Street ended in the green on Tuesday, pushing all three major US stock indexes higher ahead of the much-anticipated Jackson Hole Symposium later this week.

Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 finished at all-time closing highs, with the S&P 500 recording its 50th record close this year.

While tech and tech-related behemoths once again did much of the heavy lifting, it was the more economically sensitive stocks and cyclical smallcaps that outperformed the wider market.

“Investors are looking at the horizon at the big Jackson Hole meeting on the horizon,” said Ryan Detrick, a senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“But for now the feel-good from yesterday’s vaccine news is still in the air.”

The US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday boosted optimism regarding the world’s economic recovery from the virus, which bubbled over into Tuesday’s session.

The travel and leisure sectors, which are closely tied to economic re-engagement, stormed ahead of others, with the S&P 1500 Airline and the Hotel/Restaurant/Leisure indexes gaining up 3.7 and 1.6 per cent, respectively.

“We have energy, retail, travel, leisure, financials, and small caps all doing well today,” Detrick continued.

“And that’s a sign that the reopening is alive and well.”

Among the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors, energy was the top gainer, enjoying a boost thanks to the continued rally in crude prices.

Meanwhile, US-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo soared 22.2 per cent after reporting its first ever quarterly profit. Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks also advanced 18.6 per cent after brokerages raised their price targets following a promising set of full-year results.

US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is set to meet with other world bank leaders when the Jackson Hole Symposium convenes on Friday. Investors will likely be paying close attention to his remarks, which could provide clues regarding the central bank’s tapering of asset purchases and hiking of key interest rates.

The event will take place remotely due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States — a factor that has reduced expectations that any major announcement will be made.

“The fact that the Fed is having a virtual (Jackson Hole) meeting tells you that they might be thinking maybe they need to keep supporting the economy,” said Detrick.

All up, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09 per cent, while the S&P 500 jumped 0.15 per cent and the NASDAQ gained 0.52 per cent.

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