S&P 500, Nasdaq hit fresh records amid strong market momentum

NEW YORK, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished higher on Tuesday, building on the gains they scored in the prior month, as positive momentum continued on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 185.28 points, or 0.63 percent, to 29,823.92. The S&P 500 was up 40.82 points, or 1.13 percent, to 3,662.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 156.37 points, or 1.28 percent, to 12,355.11. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched their record closes.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 advanced, with communication services and financials closing up 1.96 percent and 1.57 percent, respectively, outperforming others. Industrials pulled back 0.17 percent, the lone declining group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

Investors are looking to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's congressional testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the U.S. labor report on Friday, for further indications of the likely development of central bank policy and the current health of the U.S. economy.

In the congressional testimony delivered on Tuesday, Powell called the U.S. economic outlook "extraordinarily uncertain," noting the rise in new COVID-19 cases "is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months."

The United States has reported more than 13.6 million COVID-19 cases in total with nearly 270,000 fatalities as of Tuesday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. equities posted sharp gains in the prior month amid vaccine hopes. For November, the Dow soared 11.8 percent, its best monthly performance since 1987. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 10.8 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, their biggest monthly advances since April.

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