U.S. equity futures are pointing higher hours before the opening bell as Investors were encouraged by upbeat news on coronavirus vaccines and reports that lawmakers and the White House are making progress toward fresh stimulus for the U.S. economy.

The S&P 500 picked up 10.29 points to 3,702.25. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 30,173.88. The tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.5% to 12,582.77, marking its fourth straight record high.

Small-company stocks rose much more than the rest of the market, a signal that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy. The Russell 2000 index climbed 1.4%, to 1,917.78.S&P 500, NASDAQ HIT RECORDS AS CORONAVIRUS VACCINE ROLLOUT BEGINS

The need for a vaccine has grown more urgent as coronavirus cases surge across much of the world. The virus has claimed more than 1.5 million lives, including over 284,000 in the U.S., the highest toll of any country.

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