Stocks gained on Thursday as investors looked beyond unrest in Washington to the policy implication of the incoming presidential administration and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Sentiment was optimistic over additional coronavirus stimulus in the coming months.

The S&P 500 rose to a record closing high and the Dow Jones gained to a record intraday and closing highs. The Nasdaq recorded from Wednesday's lows, outperforming the broader market to rise over 2% to break above 13,000 and hit a fresh record closing high.

Late Wednesday, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden's election victory in the Electoral College and formally recognized him as the next president. Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Meanwhile, new jobless claims unexpectedly decreased from the week ended Jan. 2, with the Labor Department reporting 787,000. The prior week's level was upwardly revised to 790,000. New jobless claims had exceeded 800,000 for three of the four full weeks of December as renewed coronavirus restrictions harmed jobs.

Continuing unemployment claims, which measure all individuals still on regular state unemployment programs, also unexpectedly fell at a larger than anticipated rate to nearly 5.1 million.

Here's how the market settled on Thursday:

S&P 500 Index (SPY  ): +1.48% or +55.65 points to 3,803.79

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA  ): +0.69% or +211.73 points to 31,041.13

Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ  ): +2.56% or +326.69 points to 13,067.48

For Stocks, Tesla's (TSLA  ) market cap briefly overtook Facebook's (FB  ) intraday on Thursday after shares of the electric carmaker rose more than 7% to a record high. Chief Executive Elon Musk also became the richest person in the world, taking the top stop from Amazon's (AMZN  ) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos at a net worth of $185 billion.

For Sector Performance, most sectors on the S&P 500 rallied higher alongside the broader market, with only Utilities (XLU  ) and Consumer Staples (XLP  ) falling lower. Information Technology (XLK  ) rose over 2%, while Consumer Discretionary (XLY  ), Energy (XLE  ), Financials (XLF  ), Communication Services (XLC  ) and Health Care (XLV  ) gained over 1%.

For Commodities and Currencies, the U.S. Dollar (UUP  ) bounced from nearly two year lows on Thursday to its highest value in a week as investors bet on a near-term economic rebound. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against other global currencies, rose 0.53% to 89.785, but climbed as high as 89.979. Bitcoin broke above $40,000 for the first time ever Thursday afternoon, adding to the digital currency's massive ongoing rally. Gold (GLD  ) prices were pressured on Thursday, weighed down by a stronger dollar and higher U.S. Treasury yields, but bets on more stimulus capped losses. Spot gold slipped 0.3% to $1,913.87 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% higher at $1,913.60 per ounce. Crude oil futures rose on Thursday as Saudi Arabia agreed to cut output over the next two months and U.S. crude stockpiles declined. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO  ) rose 0.41% to $54.52 per barrel, while domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate (USO  ) gained 0.45% to $50.86 each.

For Friday, market participants will focus on developments in Washington as well as the December jobs report.