U.S. stock futures climbed Tuesday as the S&P 500 tried to reach the all-time high set in February. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 280 points, or 1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures traded higher by 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively. The S&P 500 entered the session less than 1% from its Feb. 19 record of 3,393.52. The recent move toward that all-time high comes despite uncertainty over a new coronavirus stimulus package and a lack of virus vaccines and treatments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of what he claims to be the world's first coronavirus vaccine. "As far as I know, a vaccine against a new coronavirus infection has been registered this morning, for the first time in the world," Putin reportedly said in a meeting with government officials. To be sure, there is skepticism about how Russia could produce a safe vaccine so quickly, but the news has lifted market sentiment.
President Donald Trump said Monday he was "seriously" considering a reduction in capital gains taxes as part of the administration's efforts to create more jobs after the coronavirus outbreak. He also said the administration is looking into a "tax cut for middle-class families." Those comments came after Trump signed executive orders aimed at extending coronavirus relief measures that recently expired. Those orders also included a payroll tax holiday, which critics say would hurt programs such as Social Security.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world topped 20 million, with more than 5 million coming from the U.S. alone, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Overall, the virus has killed more than 700,000 people globally. To be sure, recent data from Johns Hopkins shows the seven-day average of confirmed cases to be trending lower in certain countries, including the U.S.
Leaders from 27 companies — including JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Amazon and Microsoft — are forming an organization aimed at boosting hiring within minority groups in New York. The group, the New York Jobs CEO Council, aims to hire 100,000 people from low-income Black, Latino and Asian communities by 2030. "Many New Yorkers are stuck in low-paying jobs that could be lost in the future or are struggling to navigate the labor market" during the pandemic, said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.