Stocks rose higher on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 each setting record highs and the Nasdaq rising over 2.5%, after President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law. Stimulus optimism gave the broader market a boost, with tech names outperforming.
The new economic relief package include a slew of measures aimed at providing relief to individuals and small businesses, as well as state and local governments.
On Thursday, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield settled little changed at 1.52%, stabilizing from its recent high of 1.6%.
Meanwhile, weekly initial unemployment claims reached their lowest level since early November for the week ended March 6 to 712,000, coming in below the 725,000 expected and the previous week's upwardly revised 754,000. Continuing claims also came in at a better-than-expected total, falling to 4.144 million.
Here's how the market settled on Thursday:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): +1.04% or +40.46 points to 3,939.27
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): +0.58% or +188.57 points to 32,485.59
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): +2.52% or +329.84 points to 13,398.67
For Stocks, mega-cap tech names--Apple (AAPL ), Alphabet (GOOG ), Facebook (FB ), Netflix (NFLX ) and Tesla (TSLA )--soared as investors become optimistic towards a speed U.S. economic recovery. Bumble (BMBL ) shares popped over 10% following the dating apps upbeat forecast for its current quarter.
For Sector Performance, sectors on the S&P 500 ended Thursday's session mostly higher, with only Consumer Staples (XLP ), Utilities (XLU ) and Financials (XLF ) declining into negative territory. Lead gains were seen by Information Technology (XLK ), Communication Services (XLC ), Consumer Discretionary (XLY ) and Real Estate (XLRE ).
For Commodities and Currency, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) dropped to a one-week low on Thursday as stabilizing U.S. Treasury yields and the passage of a new economic stimulus package boosted interest in riskier assets. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other rival currencies, fell 0.41% at 91.435 for its third-straight session of declines. Gold (GLD ) prices slipped as a better-than-expected unemployment report signalled a recovering economy, thus dulling the appeal of the yellow metal. Spot gold slipped 0.1% to $1,725.00 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled relatively unchanged at $1,722.60 per ounce. Crude oil futures jumped on Thursday as positive economic outlooks boosted demand forecasts. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) rose 2.34% to $69.46 per barrel, while domestic index West Texas Intermediate (USO ) settled 2.45% higher at $66.02 each.
For Friday, investors will turn their attention to the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index preliminary reading for March.