After a brief gain, stocks were mostly flat on Tuesday, as investors continue to close out positions for the New Year and after President Donald Trump signed into law the $900 billion coronavirus economic stimulus package.
Wall Street set fresh records on Monday after Trump signed the bill, helping to stanch uncertainty as governments reimpose pandemic-fighting travel and business curbs weighing on global economic activity.
Investors and economists have been pushing for the support for months. It combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion spending bill and reams of other legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care.
The hope is that the measures will help tide the economy over until vaccinations can bring surging infections under control, allowing precautions to be relaxed and life to begin returning to normal.
The only other pending set of business from Washington is whether Senate Republicans will pass President Trump’s push to get $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans instead of the current $600.
The S&P 500 was up 0.1% as of 11 a.m. Eastern, with health care stocks being among the gainers while energy and consumer discretionary stocks fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 20 points, or 0.1%, to 30,427 and the Nasdaq was mostly unchanged..
Trading has been thin as a tumultuous 2020 draws to a close. The market will be closed for New Year’s Day Friday.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.7% to 27,568.15, the first time it has traded above 27,000 since August 1990, according to FactSet. The market hit its all-time peak close of 38,915.87 on Dec. 29, 1989.
The benchmark was buoyed by strong gains in heavyweights like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which surged 4.6%, apparel maker Fast Retailing, also up 4.6%, and technology and energy company SoftBank, which gained 4.2%.