Nasdaq hits an all time high

• The Nasdaq Composite climbed to an all-time high as lifted by Big Tech. The S&P 500 ended Tuesday just short of a new closing record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.20% to 33,945.58. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5% to end the day at 4,246.44 while Nasdaq rose 0.8% to hit a fresh intraday record at 14,253.27.

• Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before the House of Representatives on the central bank’s response to the pandemic may have helped with the rally. While his remarks supported the notion that the Fed is ready to soon start discussing removing some of its unprecedented stimulus measures enacted during the pandemic, the Fed chief was bullish on the economic comeback and maintained that inflation forces were temporary.

• Asian markets generally built on an earlier momentum from US markets. The Nikkei Stock Average jumped 3.1% on Tuesday, after Monday’s selloff on the hawkish turn from the US Federal Reserve. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index added 0.5%. Hong Kong shares, however, fell for a second session, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index shedding 0.6%. Tech stocks led the declines, as the sector continued to weaken after last week’s rally. Singapore shares were similarly down, by some 0.3% as Covid-19 case counts threaten to impede the next phase of reopening.

• In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.3%, just below a record high amid hopes for a rebound in corporate earnings. Travel shares rose after the Times of London reported that the UK is set to announce that people who have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine could begin more quarantine-free travel from August.