Wall Street climbs on economic recovery hopes

A round of hip-hip-hoorays all across Wall Street Tuesday - thanks to the biggest one-month jump in U.S. retail sales in history.

Confidence got another shot in the arm after a U.K. study showed low doses of a generic steroid drug already on the market reduced COVID-19 deaths.

And if that wasn't enough good news - Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers signs of an early economic rebound have emerged.

His optimism, however, did come with a dash of caution.

"The levels of output and employment remain far below their pre pandemic levels and significant uncertainty remains about the timing and strength of recovery. Much of that uncertainty comes from uncertainty about the path of the disease and the effects of measures to contain it. Until the public is confident that this disease is contained a full recovery is unlikely."

By the closing bell the Dow led the pack with a 2 percent surge. The S&P 500 was up 1.9 percent, while the Nasdaq gained 1.7 percent.

Vespula Capital's Jeff Tomaslu is not a big believer in the strength of this rally.

“For me as a long-term investor I’m still looking, as a short-term and a long-term investor, it’s hard to buy when you think about valuations because a lot of these stocks are just getting so far ahead of themselves based on the uncertainty we have going forward.”

Investors also took heart from word the Trump administration is working on a reviving an on-again/off-again $1 trillion infrastructure package.

Early signs of an economic recovery came too late for some at AT&T. The company informed labor union officials that it plans to let go of 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country over the next few weeks. The U.S. media and telecom giant also revealed plans to permanently shut 250 stores, which will impact 1,300 retail employees. AT&T didn't deny what was revealed by the union, saying in a statement - the pandemic and lockdowns have accelerated a change in customer habits. It intends to find new jobs for impacted workers within the company. The stock finished higher by less than one percent.