NEW: December starts strong as S&P 500 index sets another high

Coronavirus fears have impacted stock market and interest rates

Stocks scored more record highs on Wall Street on Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 closed out November with its biggest monthly gain since April.

The benchmark index climbed 1.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.3%. Both beat the all-time highs they set Friday.

Stocks have been ramping higher in recent weeks as investors focus on the possibility that coronavirus vaccines could soon help usher in a fuller global economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered just below 30,000. Treasury yields rose in another sign that investors were feeling more optimistic about the economy.

Earlier Tuesday, global stocks and U.S. futures rose on improved economic reports from China and as more drug makers sought regulatory approval for their coronavirus vaccines.

Markets in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced as investors looked ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s appearance before legislators a day after he said the pace of recovery is moderating.

The future “seems incredibly bright and bullish,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a report.y.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London rose 1.9% to 6,387, and Frankfurt’s DAX added 1% to 13,418. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.1% to 5,577.

Sentiment was boosted after the European Medicines Agency said it will convene a meeting Dec. 29 to decide if there is enough data about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for it to be approved.

The agency also said it could decide as early as Jan. 12 whether to approve a rival COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc.

Moderna said Monday it is ready to apply for emergency approval in the United States and Britain. Pfizer and German partner BioNTech are asking to begin vaccinations in the U.S. in December. British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.8% to 3,451.94 after an index of Chinese manufacturing activity by a business magazine, Caixin, hit a decade high in November. A separate survey Monday by the government statistics agency showed activity at a three-year high.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1.3% to 26,787.54.from $1.1946.

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