The Russell 2000 index just ended its longest record drought in nine years as vaccine hopes buoy small-cap stocks

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The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index just logged its first closing high in over two years, boosted by the prospects of a remedies and cures for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has hobbled economies and disproportionately hurt smaller companies, compared against their large-cap peers. The Russell 2000 index finished the week up over 2% on Friday, helping it score a 6.1% weekly gain, far outstripping the return for its large-cap counterparts. The S&P 500 index , which also ended Friday the session at a record close, its first since Sept 2, booked a weekly advance of 2.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a weekly gain of 4.1%, by comparison. The last time the Russell 2000 index scored an all-time closing high was August 2018 and the last time the S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 finished at records on the same day was also 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The moves for stocks this week were aided by a report by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday, which indicated that a coronavirus experimental vaccine was 90% effective, sparking hope that cures and remedies for the deadly illness may be in the offing as a resurgence of the virus is at hand. The all-time closing high also ended the Russell 2000’s longest record drought since April 2011. It went 554 trading days without a new record close through yesterday. Its third-longest record drought on record.

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