US stocks rose to all-time highs as increased stimulus in the world’s largest economy fueled optimism about the global recovery.
The benchmark S&P 500 Index climbed past 4,000 for the first time as investors weighed President Joe Biden’s newly unveiled $2.25 trillion spending plan ahead of Friday’s U.S. employment report, which is expected to show the quickest pace of hiring in five months. Technology shares led the rally, with investors again favoring growth over value stocks. Treasuries rebounded after the worst quarter in decades. Oil climbed after the OPEC alliance agreed to increase production gradually over the next three months.
“We think the S&P 500 hitting a high point is a sign of the positive environment in this highly volatile time,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments LLC.
Traders are jockeying for position before the Easter weekend after data showed U.S. private employers hired the most workers in six months, while initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased. Biden’s ambitious plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure has added to the growth outlook, even though Republican opposition to the plan raises questions about how much can actually be delivered.
Microsoft Corp. climbed for a second day as the company’s multibillion-dollar deal to build customized versions of its HoloLens goggles for the U.S. Army moved forward. Western Digital Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. rallied after a report the two companies are individually exploring a potential deal for Japan’s Kioxia Holdings Corp.
Investors remain focused on inflation risk as central banks reassert their commitment to low interest rates. Traders for now are looking past worsening virus trends, such as lockdowns in France and Canada’s Ontario province.
“Before you worry about inflation, there’s reflation and I think that’s the main theme in the market,” said Ed Campbell, portfolio manager and managing director at QMA.
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