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* Pfizer-BioNTech seek EU emergency approval for COVID-19
* China's Nov. factory activity growth hits decade high
* Bipartisan lawmakers propose $908 bln COVID relief bill
Dow +0.92%, S&P 500 +1.42%, Nasdaq +1.55%
Dec 1 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite
indexes jumped to record highs on Tuesday, with
investors betting a COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon, and
more confident about a speedy economic recovery following upbeat
Chinese factory data.
Investors are closely following updates on a handful of
vaccine candidates as well as the start of global shipments as
drugmakers submit paperwork for regulatory approvals.
Pfizer Inc gained about 3% after the drugmaker and
Germany's BioNTech SE sought emergency approval of
their vaccine candidate from the European regulator.
The partners are neck-and-neck with rival Moderna Inc
, which also applied for emergency approval from the
European regulator. Its stock tumbled 9%, receding from a record
high the day before.
"There is this optimism about what it means as we see news
around vaccines emerge," said Bill Northey, senior investment
director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
"As we look toward a health solution, we could be sitting on
a coiled spring of economic activity, but it could take a while
for it to be unleashed."
Earlier in the day, global equities got a boost from data
that showed China's factory activity in November increased at
its fastest pace in a decade. Several other countries also
reported sharp upticks in factory activity.
In the United States, a slowdown in manufacturing activity
for the month failed to discourage investors.
All 11 S&P 500 sector indexes rose, with communication
services jumping 2.4% and leading gains.
Investors were also focused on remarks by U.S. Treasury
Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell
at the Senate Banking Committee, where they agreed on the need
for more aid for small businesses.
Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi
were due to speak about COVID-19 relief and government funding,
which expires this month.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers unveiled a
$908 billion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at breaking a
months-long deadlock between Democrats and Republicans over new
emergency assistance for small businesses, unemployed people,
airlines and other industries during the pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.92% at
29,910.46 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.42% at
The Nasdaq Composite added 1.55% to 12,387.57.
All three main stock indexes gained more than 10% in
Also in Tuesday's session, Zoom Video Communications Inc
tumbled 15% after warning its gross margins would remain
under pressure going into 2021.
Tesla Inc rose 2.4% after S&P Dow Jones Indices
said it would add one of Wall Street's most valuable companies
to the S&P 500 index all at once on Dec. 21, rather than in two
Micron Technology Inc advanced 5.5% as the chipmaker
increased its revenue, gross margin and earnings forecast for
the first quarter.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
2.63-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 48 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 175 new highs and seven new lows.
(Additional reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Medha Singh in
Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)