The S&P 500 on Thursday surged to its first-ever close above 4,000 points, lifted by gains in Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc, as well as optimism about a recovering US economy.
Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Nvidia Corp jumped 2 percent or more, with those and other growth stocks showing signs of awakening after lagging in the past few weeks behind so-called value stocks expected to outperform as the US economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google parent Alphabet’s 3.3 percent rally left it at its highest close ever.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, government data showed.
However, other data showed that a measure of manufacturing activity soared to its strongest level in more than 37 years last month, with employment at factories the highest since February 2018.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday rose 0.52 percent to end at 33,153.21 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.18 percent to 4,019.87.
The NASDAQ Composite climbed 1.76 percent to 13,480.11.
With its latest record, the S&P 500 was up about 7 percent this year and it has gained 80 percent from its low in March last year.
US stock markets were closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.
For the shortened week, the S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent, the Dow gained 0.25 percent and the NASDAQ added 2.6 percent.
“We’re still bullish for this year, and we think that with stimulus, with the Fed committed to being dovish, with the economy reopening due to more of the US getting vaccinated, overall you’re going see corporate earnings do pretty well,” said King Lip, chief investment strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management LP in San Francisco.
Trading volume on US exchanges was light at 10.5 billion shares on Thursday, compared with a 13 billion average over the past 20 trading days.
The NASDAQ remains about 5 percent below its Feb. 12 record-high close, still smarting after higher US bond yields hurt technology stocks.
Eight of the S&P 500 sector indices rose, with technology , communication services and energy gaining more than 2 percent.
Micron Technology Inc jumped 4.8 percent after the chipmaker forecast fiscal third-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates due to higher demand for memory chips, thanks to 5G smartphones and artificial intelligence software.
US-listed shares of rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) rose 5.5 percent after it said it would invest US$100 billion over three years to meet rising chip demand.
The CBOE volatility index slipped below 18 points for the first time in 14 months, a level last seen before the coronavirus-driven global financial market meltdown in March last year.
Johnson & Johnson fell 0.9 percent after the drugmaker said it had found a problem with a batch of the drug substance for its COVID-19 vaccine being produced by Emergent BioSolutions Inc, whose shares tumbled 13.3 percent.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 4.16-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 3.14-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the NASDAQ Composite recorded 83 new highs and 14 new lows.
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