Stock Market Today: Nasdaq Hits Fresh Highs Ahead of Key Washington Meeting

Stocks jumped ahead Tuesday ahead of a pivotal meeting of Congressional and White House leaders, who will try to hash out COVID stimulus and a spending bill.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The market's churn around all-time highs continued Tuesday with a solid day of gains as a potential make-or-break moment in COVID stimulus neared.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, congressional GOP leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to a 4 p.m. meeting to discuss a potential stimulus package, as well as a spending bill that both chambers must pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, a Food and Drug Administration review of Moderna's (MRNA, -5.1%) COVID vaccine confirmed its high efficacy rate, setting the stage for a potential approval soon.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.1% with some help from Apple (AAPL, +5.0%), which boomed on the back of a Nikkei report, citing unnamed sources, saying the company would ramp up iPhone manufacturing by 30% during 2021's first half.

But the stars of the day were the Nasdaq Composite (+1.3% to 12,595) and small-cap Russell 2000 (+2.4% to 1,959), both of which eclipsed their prior highs.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The S&P 500 gained 1.3% to 3,694.
  • Gold futures improved by 1.3% to settle at $1,855.30 per ounce.
  • U.S. crude oil futures closed up 1.3% to $47.62 per barrel.

The Best ETFs for 2021

But even some with a bullish outlook for 2021 think the market is ready for at least a short-term breather.

"We believe there is still a little too much enthusiasm in an otherwise healthy environment," says Canaccord Genuity equity strategist Tony Dwyer. "The combination of extreme bullishness, broad acceptance of the economic recovery rotation, and a historic ramp in our favored areas have us looking for a near-term pause in the upside."

Naturally, investors can feel free to use any such pause (or more specifically, any such dip) to settle into positions they believe will help them generate a little more "oomph" in 2021.

We've already begun looking at high-potential stocks across the market's many sectors and industries -- including our best overall picks for 2021 -- and we'll continue to identify opportunities for the new year across the next several weeks. But stocks aren't the only way you can leverage the major themes expected to play out in 2021.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are more nimble and targeted as ever, allowing investors to achieve just about any objective, wide or narrow. Read on, then, as we share our annual look at the best ETFs for the year to come. Whether you're looking for core portfolio holdings, red-hot growth plays or safety valves, this list has something for every investor.

Kyle Woodley

Kyle Woodley is the Editor-in-Chief of Young and The Invested (opens in new tab), a site dedicated to improving the personal finances and financial literacy of parents and children. He also writes the weekly The Weekend Tea (opens in new tab) newsletter, which covers both news and analysis about spending, saving, investing, the economy and more.

Kyle was previously the Senior Investing Editor for, and the Managing Editor for before that. His work has appeared in several outlets, including Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Barchart, The Globe & Mail and the Nasdaq. He also has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, among other shows and podcasts, and he has been quoted in several outlets, including MarketWatch, Vice and Univision. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism. 

You can check out his thoughts on the markets (and more) at @KyleWoodley (opens in new tab).