Stocks Rise; S&P 500 at Record; Pfizer Gains on Vaccine-Sales Beat

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Stocks on Tuesday were climbing, with the S&P 500 rising to a record, as investors looked to the start of today’s Federal Reserve policy meeting while sifting through the latest corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 138 points, or 0.39%, 36,052, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.29% and the Nasdaq climbed 0.23%.

The Fed is widely expected to detail how it will begin slowing the pace of its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases. That’s the first of several steps required for a true rate hike, which some analysts now suggest could come as early as July.

“The stock market is remarkably resilient right now and has melted up despite supply chain issues, inflation concerns, rising rates and a more hawkish Federal Reserve,” said Greg Marcus, managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management. 

“Most of the companies in the S&P 500 have witnessed a correction of more than 10% so far this year, while the broader index has seen a 5% correction just once this year.”

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Marcus said the Federal Reserve’s tapering could begin by year-end and “we’ll likely hear more commentary during Wednesday’s meeting, but we don’t expect any tapering actions to disrupt the stock market’s rally.” 

Pfizer  (PFE) – Get Pfizer Inc. Report jumped after its stronger-than-expected-third quarter earnings report included both a full-year profit guidance boost and a forecast of $36 billion for sales of its Covid vaccine.

Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report slipped after Founder and CEO Elon Musk poured cold water on reports of a $4.4 billion EV sales to Hertz Global. The company also said it was recalling nearly 12,000 vehicles due to a software communications error issue that can trigger false forward collision warnings.

Under Armour  (UAA) – Get Under Armour, Inc. Class A Report surged after the sports-apparel giant posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and boosted its 2021 sales forecast as shoppers returned to brick-and-mortar stores.

Shares of Chegg  (CHGG) – Get Chegg, Inc. Report tumbled after analysts at Raymond James downgraded the online education specialist to market perform from outperform.