Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The S&P 500 neared record territory Tuesday, but ended the day with modest losses as tech stocks dragged the market down.
The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 3,377 by 12:30 p.m., less than 20 points off the all-time high (3,393.52) it set in February, but ended the day down 26.78 points, or 0.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 104.53 points, or 0.38% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 1.69%.
Since its plunge in March, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the S&P has been steadily rising in response to unprecedented levels of fiscal and monetary stimulus and varying degrees of economic reopening.
Analysts said the S&P 500's momentum on Tuesday was partly fueled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Moscow registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite questions about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness -- particularly considering it was developed in a diplomatically isolated nation like Russia -- the U.S. markets responded positively.
"Every time you get some good news on COVID, and now we've got a potential vaccine coming from Russia -- it's skeptical at best, but nevertheless, the market is embracing it at this point," Belpointe strategist David Nelson told Yahoo.
The index was also fueled by President Donald Trump saying Monday he's considering a capital gains tax cut.
Despite the early gains, tech stocks fell for a second consecutive day dragging all three major indexes down.