Stock market news live updates: Stocks rise, S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq reach record levels

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Stocks rose Tuesday, extending last week’s gains as traders returned from a long holiday weekend in the U.S.

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The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq came off session highs after reaching record levels shortly after market open. U.S. stocks tracked gains in European equities, after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “hopeful” the country’s stringent lockdown restrictions could be eased in the coming weeks as the vaccine rollout continues and new daily infections fall further.

Other risk assets also performed strongly. Bitcoin prices (BTC-USD) spiked to a fresh record high of more than $50,000, extending a meteoric rally after the cryptocurrency traded around $35,000 just a month ago. U.S. crude oil (CL=F) jumped above $60 per barrel and reached the highest level since January 2020. And the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined further on Tuesday, after settling below 20 for the first time since February 2020 on Friday.

Over the past couple weeks, U.S. investors have considered prospects for additional fiscal stimulus alongside much better-than-expected fourth-quarter corporate earnings results across the board. Corporate earnings are on track to grow by about 2.9%, which would mark the first year-over-year increase in profits since the final quarter of 2019, according to FactSet. And on the fiscal stimulus front, lawmakers are racing to get another stimulus package done before a mid-March lapse in federal unemployment benefits occurs after the last round of virus relief.

“Earnings season has provided proof of an earlier than expected rebound in corporate performance, and with fresh stimulus money likely to wing its way to the American population there is reason to expect further quarterly growth,” Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group, said in an email. “Despite all the naysayers, global stock markets, led by the U.S., continue to make headway, and seem well-set to continue doing so.”

Some strategists have also taken the contrarian view that the overwhelmingly positive catalysts as of late may be reason itself to take heed.

“[The] only reason to be bearish is…there is no reason to be bearish,” Michael Harnett, Bank of America Securities chief investment strategist, wrote in the firm’s latest global fund managers’ survey.

The survey, which involved polling 225 investors with $645 billion in assets under management between Feb. 5 to 11, showed that allocations to stocks and commodities had reached the highest levels since 2011, while cash levels were at an eight-year low. All things considered, Bank of America’s proprietary “bull and bear indicator” tracking market sentiment rose to 7.7, closing in on the firm’s 8.0 “sell” signal.

12:25 p.m. ET: Stocks pare some gains, Nasdaq turns slightly negative

Here’s where markets were trading shortly Tuesday afternoon:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +1.09 points (+0.03%) to 3,935.92

  • Dow (^DJI): +68.83 points (+0.22%) to 31,529.02

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -43.14 points (-0.31%) to 14,052.10

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.13 (+0.22%) to $59.60 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$29.20 (-1.6%) to $1,794.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +8.4 bps to yield 1.284%

10:52 a.m. ET: The market is ‘ripe for a pullback’: Canaccord Genuity

With equities continuing to set fresh record highs, the S&P 500 could be due for a correction before ultimately tearing higher, according to at least one Wall Street firm.

We still believe the market is ripe for a pullback, but the focus should remain on our core fundamental thesis and the global reflation theme. The Fed is focused on obtaining sustainably higher inflation, money availability remains historic, the economy is just in the beginning of a long-duration recovery, consensus EPS forecasts are still too conservative, and like 2010 any valuation contraction should be a result of a sharp EPS ramp rather than something more onerous,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Tony Dwyer said in a note Tuesday.

“The macro backdrop and market action coming off the March 2020 low continues to track the gains coming out of the Great Financial Crisis, which means corrections may be coming followed by even more gains,” he added. “Despite the prospect of a potential pullback, our investment themes remain in place given historic excess liquidity fueling a synchronized global recovery.”

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher

Here’s where markets were trading shortly after the opening bell Tuesday morning:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +10.75 points (+0.27%) to 3,941.75

  • Dow (^DJI): +108.00 points (+0.34%) to 31,505.00

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +40.75 points (+0.3%) to 13,845.5

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.47 (+0.79%) to $59.94 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$28.60 (-1.57%) to $1,794.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +6.2 bps to yield 1.265%

8:17 a.m. ET: Palantir shares slide 10% after company posts another operating loss

Newly public data software company Palantir (PLTR) unexpectedly posted a loss in the final three months of 2020, surprising investors who had been looking for the company to end a streak of losses as more customers joined the platform during the pandemic. Palantir landed new contracts in the fourth quarter with companies including PG&E, BP and the U.S. Air Force.

The company’s operating loss totaled $156.7 million in the three months ending in December. This was wider than the operating loss of $147.5 million the company posted in the same quarter last year. For the full year, operating losses were $1.12 billion versus $576 million in 2019. However, excluding stock based compensation and some other charges, Palantir swung to a profit of $189.9 million for the full year.

Fourth-quarter revenue grew 40% to $322 million, though this was slower than the company’s overall sales growth rate of 47% for the full year. For the first quarter, Palantir said it expects revenue growth of 45%.

7:13 a.m. ET Tuesday: Futures point to a higher open, adding to Friday’s gains

Here’s where markets were trading ahead of the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,951.5, up 20.5 points or 0.52%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 31,589.00, up 192 points or 0.61%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,876.00, up 71.25 points or 0.52%

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.32 (+0.54%) to $59.79 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$4.20 (-0.23%) to $1,819.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +6.2 bps to yield 1.262%

© Provided by Yahoo! Finance A trader makes a phone call outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 20, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. – Wall Street stocks were mixed early July, 20, 2020 as markets awaited congressional debate on another round of stimulus spending and major earnings releases later in the week. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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