The daily business briefing: July 2, 2020

The Nasdaq hits a new high with a boost from vaccine hopes, Fed officials express concern about downturn's severity, and more

The Nasdaq sign
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

1. Nasdaq hits record as vaccine hopes offset coronavirus fears

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Wednesday, starting the third quarter on a high note as rising optimism about a COVID-19 vaccine offset concerns that spiking infections would result in more business-crushing lockdowns. The Nasdaq gained nearly 1 percent to set a record high, and the S&P 500 rose by 0.5 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped, dropping by 0.3 percent after finishing its best quarter in years after rebounding from a March coronavirus-fueled crash. Pfizer shares jumped by more than 3 percent after the drug maker said a coronavirus vaccine it is developing with German biotech firm BioNTech showed strong potential and was being tolerated by patients in early trials. Futures for all three of the main U.S. stock indexes rose early Thursday.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.