Stocks on Wall Street edged higher on Wednesday as the rollout of coronavirus vaccines fueled hopes of a strong economic recovery next year.
That optimism helped push the safe-haven dollar to its lowest since April 2018, while all three major Wall Street indexes were up in morning trade.
Boosting sentiment was Britain’s approval of the emergency use of AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will start being administered on Monday.
But tempering optimism was the back and forth in Washington over the size of stimulus checks to Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked a quick vote to back President Donald Trump's call to increase COVID-19 relief checks from $600 to $2,000.
The move resulted in Wall Street's main indexes falling from intraday record highs.
Still, the S&P 500 has bounced back nearly 70% since it bottomed in March, thanks to trillions of dollars in stimulus and progress in developing vaccines.
Technology companies such as Apple and Amazon powered much of this year's gains, but have taken a backseat in recent weeks as investors buy into beaten-down economically sensitive stocks, hoping that a recovery will make those companies winners in 2021.