The S&P 500 finished higher, the Nasdaq jumped and Treasury yields rose Wednesday as investors weighed the possibilities of higher inflation and higher taxes from a $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan from President Joe Biden.
The S&P 500 closed up 0.36% to 3,972. The index set an all-time intraday high during the session but came up short of a closing record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.26% to 32,981, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 1.54% to 13,246, boosted by Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, up 1.9%, and Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report, up 5.1%.
For March, the Dow rose 6.6%, the S&P 500 tacked on 4.2% and the Nasdaq edged up 0.4%.
The Dow rose 7.8% in the first quarter, the S&P 500 advanced 5.8% and the Nasdaq gained 2.8%.
Biden's American Jobs Plan will amount to $2.25 trillion over eight years. It will be paid for over 15 years with an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, and a 21% minimum tax that will be set on global corporate earnings.
Biden unveiled the plan in a speech in Pittsburgh shortly after the market close, calling it a "once in a generation," opportunity to "rebuild the backbone of America."
The president's infrastructure package includes projects for roads and bridges but also includes high-speed broadband, updates to the electrical grid and supply-chain issues.
Ten-year Treasury yields rose to 1.737% on Wednesday. While the stimulus likely will boost both domestic and global growth, investors are worried that faster inflation also will come with the economic recovery.
On Tuesday, yields traded above 1.77% for the first time since January 2020. Providing a boost was a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. consumer confidence.
U.S. oil prices fell more than 2% to $59.23 a barrel after a panel meeting of OPEC and its allies ended without an oil policy recommendation, Bloomberg reported. The cartel meets Thursday in Vienna.
As the first quarter comes to an end and traders make some end-of-quarter moves, the market likely will "see some pushing and shoving" Wednesday, said James "Rev Shark" DePorre in a column on Real Money.
"The big question is whether there will be more interest in stock picking once again. Small-caps did bounce back Tuesday and breadth was favorable, but traders lack confidence now and are tentative and uncertain at this point," DePorre added.
The U.S. private sector added 517,000 jobs in March, according to the ADP National Employment Report, just shy of economists' estimates but the most jobs added since September. The data are a precursor to the official U.S. jobs report for last month, which will be released on Friday.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report boosted its full-year profit guidance following the first quarterly earnings report under new Chief Executive Rosalind Brewer. The stock finished 3.6% higher at $54.90.