US stocks edge higher as investors weigh vaccine hopes against fallout from Capitol riots

US stocks edge higher as investors weigh vaccine hopes against fallout from Capitol riots
A specialist trader works at the post where Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is traded on the floor of the NYSE.Thomson Reuters
  • US stocks eked minor gains on Tuesday as investors bet on stimulus and COVID-19 vaccines to fuel a swift economic rebound.
  • Still, stocks' lofty valuations dragged on sentiments. Facebook and Twitter tumbled for a second straight day after both companies banned President Trump for his role in last week's Capitol riots.
  • Bitcoin recovered slightly from its Monday nosedive but remains well below the records it hit last week.
  • Oil prices gained as the US dollar weakened against currency peers. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $53.28 per barrel.
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US stocks gained slightly on Tuesday as stimulus and vaccine hopes slightly outweighed concerns over the latest developments in Washington.

Hopes for widespread vaccination and Biden-backed stimulus continue to lock horns with stocks' lofty valuations. Fallout from last week's violent riots at the Capitol continues to weigh on market sentiments and social-media stocks. Democrats are set to vote to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection on Wednesday.

Energy and materials stocks led the S&P 500 to its mild gain. Health care stocks sank, as did the communications companies that led Monday's decline.

Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

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Shambolic vaccine distribution across the US has also cut into some investors' recovery outlooks. CNBC reported Tuesday morning that the Trump administration will issue updated vaccination guidance that expands eligibility to everyone 65-years-old and older. The move comes after some states discarded vaccines instead of using them on ineligible populations.

"Vaccine rollouts have been messy, but as more vaccines get regional approval, risk appetite is thriving as we get closer to the other side of COVID," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said.

The mild uptick comes after stocks stumbled to start the week. Equities fell from record highs on Monday as investors weighed the impact of an impeachment vote and stretched valuations. Facebook and Twitter dragged on major indexes as investors balked at the companies' moves to ban permanently Trump.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses said Tuesday its gauge of small-business optimism plunged to a seven-month low in December as COVID-19 restrictions intensified. Nine of the index's 10 components declined through the month and the association's measure of general-business-condition outlook tumbled into net negative territory.

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Zoom erased early losses and launched higher after the company announced plans to offer $1.5 billion worth of Class A shares. The teleconferencing company didn't set a date for the sale, instead noting the offering is subject to the market and "other conditions."

Lemonade sank after announcing a new offering of its own and failed to completely pare losses. The secondary offering comes just six months after its initial public offering.

Uber leaped to record highs as investors bet on vaccine distribution to revive ride-share companies. The move comes one day after SoftBank sold roughly $2 billion in Uber stock from its Vision Fund.

Bitcoin recovered slightly after plummeting from record highs. The world's largest cryptocurrency traded at roughly $34,000 Tuesday afternoon after sliding as low as $30,305.30 Monday night.

Spot gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,863.81 per ounce, before paring gains. The US dollar weakened slightly against a basket of currency peers and Treasury yields rose.


Oil prices gained amid the US dollar's decline. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 2%, to $53.28 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international standard, climbed 1.9%, to $56.73 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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