- US stocks surged on Thursday as President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion relief package and investors doubled down on a swift recovery.
- The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both closed at record highs while surging tech stocks led the Nasdaq to outperform.
- Weekly jobless claims reached 712,000, marking a sharp decline from the previous week’s sum and beating the median estimate of 725,000.
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US equities gained on Thursday as the president’s signing of a new stimulus bill further lifted hopes for a near-term economic rebound.
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 both closed at record highs. The Nasdaq composite outperformed as investors snapped up tech stocks that tumbled through last week.
President Joe Biden signed $1.9 trillion in new fiscal stimulus into law on Thursday, extending a new helping hand to households and businesses still shouldering the pandemic’s economic fallout. The plan gives struggling Americans “a fighting chance” in the last stages of the pandemic, Biden said.
The $1,400 payments included in the package will start to hit bank accounts as soon as this weekend, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 3,939.34, up 1%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 32,485.59, up 0.6% (189 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 13,398.67, up 2.5%
Stocks traded mixed in the previous session as investors wavered between dumping tech names and buying the sector at lower prices. GameStop saw renewed volatility as retail investors fueled a rapid ascent and a just-as-swift decline that triggered six trading halts throughout the day.
The 10-year Treasury yield hovered at 1.53% on Thursday. Investors slowed their retreat from government debt after a key inflation report showed price growth in February landing below economist forecasts.
Economic data published Thursday further supported optimism toward the US recovery. Initial jobless claims for the week that ended Saturday totaled an unadjusted 712,000, according to the Labor Department. The sum is well below the previous week’s revised reading of 754,000 and the consensus economist estimate of 725,000 new claims.
Continuing claims, which track Americans currently receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 4.1 million for the week that ended February 27. That landed below the median estimate of 4.2 million claims.
The report shows a “clear drop” and suggests recent temporary job losses “have been more than offset by a decline in the underlying trend in claims,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.
“When states re-open, firms which may have been on the brink of layoffs have an incentive to hold onto staff for a while longer, at least,” he added. “We expect this effect to become much more powerful over the next couple of months, and we expect to see jobless claims falling rapidly through the spring.”
Bitcoin broke above key resistance levels and stabilized above $57,000. The popular cryptocurrency is now roughly $1,000 away from hitting record highs last seen in February.
Spot gold erased early gains and fell as much as 0.43%, to $1,719.30 per ounce. The US dollar weakened against Group-of-20 currency peers.