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Nasdaq hits record high as $900B coronavirus aid package clears Congress

Jonathan Garber
·2 min read

The Nasdaq Composite rallied to an all-time high Tuesday after Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 aid package.

The tech-heavy index gained 0.51% while both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 finished lower, falling 0.67% and 0.21% respectively.

The aid package will give a $600 direct payment to most Americans and an additional $300 per week of supplemental unemployment insurance through March. Paycheck Protection Program loans and COVID-19 vaccine rollouts are among the other programs that will receive funding.

PELOSI CALLS $600 STIMULUS CHECKS 'SIGNIFICANT’ BUT SAID $1K TAX CUT BONUSES WERE 'CRUMBS’ IN 2018

Looking at stocks, American Airlines and United Airlines were preparing to recall tens of thousands of furloughed employees as the airline industry is set to receive $15 billion in payroll support through the aid package.

Drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, meanwhile, are testing the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccine against a new fast-spreading coronavirus strain that stressed markets on Monday.

In tech, Apple Inc. shares were on track for a second day of gains after a report released shortly before Monday’s closing bell said the company is pressing ahead with plans for a self-driving vehicle that it hopes will be ready in 2024.

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The plan also includes Apple creating its own battery technology, driving up shares of fuel cell systems-makers like Plug Power Inc.

Peloton Interactive Inc. agreed to buy fitness equipment maker Precor for $420 million. The deal will give Peloton increased production capacity.

Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips discovered as many as 200 million barrels of oil in the Norwegian Sea. The company has an 80% stake where the well was drilled.

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 95 cents to $47.02 per barrel while gold tumbled $12.60 to $1,866.60 per ounce.

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The Euro Stoxx 600 climbed 1.28% while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were higher by 1.3% and 1.36%, respectively. Britain’s FTSE 100 lagged, up 0.57%.

Asian markets were lower across the board with China’s Shanghai Composite losing 1.87%, Japan’s Nikkei sliding 1.04% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declining 0.71%.

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