Dow closes at record in year-end rally

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high of 30,410 Wednesday, extending year-end gains with a positive outlook heading into 2021.

The Dow was up 74 points, or 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 closed up 5 points, or 0.1 percent, remaining just below the record it set earlier in the week.

Markets often rise in the waning days of December, and stocks have been particularly sunny in recent weeks as COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective, received emergency use authorizations and begun rolling out in the United States and other countries.

The pace of vaccinations, however, has remained slower than experts had hoped.

Meanwhile, the prospects of the Senate approving a bill to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 appear grim, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator says he’ll block consent for ,000 stimulus checks Intercept’s DC bureau chief: McConnell was ‘quite fine’ with Trump losing reelection Trump targets congressional Republicans on multiple fronts MORE (R-Ky.) tied the House-passed measure to other controversial issues.