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S&P 500, Nasdaq close at record highs as vaccine approval supports recovery hopes ahead of Fed conference (INX, DJIA, COMPX, NDX, SPY, QQQ, RUI, RUT)

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 16, 2017.  REUTERS/Lucas JacksonThomson Reuters

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Stocks closed at record highs Tuesday, extending Monday's gains following the Food and Drug Administration's full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, bolstering expectations that more vaccinations could help keep the recovery of the world's largest economy on track. 

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended at records, building on gains posted Monday after the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

The stock gains came ahead of Thursday's start of the Federal Reserve's virtual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to discuss the outlook on US economic recovery. 

Here's where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday: 

"The buy-the-dip" mentality among investors has been helping stocks stick close to record highs throughout the year, Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments, told Insider on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the US economy is recovering from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic but it's been showing signs of slower consumer and other activity, he said.  

Some "monetary policymakers are communicating that it's not a given that [the Fed] will start tapering and that it's data-dependent and that data is clearly starting to soften some. That gives markets a little more room to breathe in saying that … monetary policy is flexible enough to be more accommodative until whatever is giving that negative pressure subsidies."

Around the markets, CrowdStrike stock climbed as the cybersecurity firm is set to be added to the Nasdaq-100 index. 

Apple stock has soared more than 1,000% since Tim Cook became CEO 10 years ago.

Value investor Joel Greenblatt slashed his GameStop and AMC stakes before the meme-stock boom, missing out on a potential $400 million windfall.

A Swiss shoemaker backed by tennis legend Roger Federer plans to go public in New York at a potential $8 billion valuation.

Gold slipped 0.1% to $1,804.81 per ounce. The yield on the US 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.29%. 

Oil prices surged. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3.2% to $67.73 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, gained 3.6%, to $71.22 per barrel. 

Bitcoin slipped 0.4% to $49,348.87.

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