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
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Nasdaq Composite Index
For Stocks, Tesla's
For Sector Performance, most sectors on the S&P 500 rallied higher alongside the broader market, with only Utilities
For Commodities and Currencies, the U.S. Dollar
For Friday, market participants will focus on developments in Washington as well as the December jobs report.