Stock market reaches record highs

by Jonathan Adams
Wall Street

The Dow advanced 0.2%, while the Nasdaq gained 1%

Wall Street notched more milestones Friday as the market largely shrugged off another discouraging jobs report amid expectations that the incoming Biden administration will pump more aid into the pandemic-ravaged economy.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5%, its second straight record high, after bouncing back from a midday slump that knocked it down 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq composite all closed at new highs.

Technology stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending helped lift the market, outweighing losses in financial, industrial and other sectors. The gains pushed the S&P 500 to its second weekly gain in a row. Treasury yields continued to move higher, fuelled by expectations of increased federal borrowing, more stimulus for the economy and the possibility of higher inflation.

The Labor Department said Friday employers cut jobs for the first time since April as the worsening pandemic led more businesses to shut down. But Wall Street remains hopeful that Washington will come through with more badly needed support for American workers and businesses following President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There are still close to 4 million people who have been long-term unemployed, which could threaten growth in the next couple of months, said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors. The market continues to slowly grind higher because (investors) are expecting additional stimulus when the new administration goes into effect later this month.

The S&P 500 rose 20.89 points to 3,824.68. The Dow gained 56.84 points, or 0.2%, to 31,097.97. The Nasdaq climbed 134.50 points, or 1%, to 13,201.98.

President Donald Trump acknowledged late Thursday that he’ll be leaving the White House later this month. With Democrats soon in control of the presidency, Senate and House, investors are anticipating Washington will try to deliver even more stimulus for the struggling economy. That’s layering on top of expectations already built up for the economy to get healthier as coronavirus vaccines roll out in 2021.

This article is for information purposes only.
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