Wall Street posts record as investors bet on strong earnings and watch for Biden stimulus plan

January 22, 2021 - 1 month ago
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Wall Street rose to another record on Thursday as investors bet on big tech companies strong earnings next week.

With President Joe Biden now in the White House, he takes the reins of a national effort to vaccinate the majority of Americans.

He has pledged to have the country administer 100 million doses of the vaccines within the first 100 days of his presidency.

He’s also proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that could amount to a shot in the arm for the economy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday the chamber is ready to pass the bill in the first week of February.

Most S&P 500 index sectors were lower, led down by Energy shares, while large-cap technology continues to trend higher.

At the finishing bell, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped -12.37 points, or -0.04%, while the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained less than +0.1% to 3,853.07, eking out another fresh high.

The rich-tech Nasdaq Composite rose +73.67 points, or +0.55%, to 13,530.92.

Apple and Facebook have risen +7.7% and +8.6%, respectively, this week ahead of their quarterly results, while Microsoft has gained +5.8%.

Wall Street closed at record highs in the previous session as President Joe Biden was sworn into office, accompanying hopes that an improved vaccine rollout will ensure a smoother and faster reopening.

Biden released details of his COVID-19 plan on his first full day in office, including ten executive orders and his intent to use the Defence Production Act to ramp up protective equipment production.

Thursday’s action came after a better-than-expected reading on jobless claims.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits decreased modestly last week.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totalled a seasonally adjusted 900,000 for the week ended Jan. 16, compared to 926,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists had forecasted 930,000 applications in the latest week.

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