Dow, S&P 500 Close at Records; Tech Rallies, Biden Signs Stimulus

The Dow and S&P 500 set records as tech shares rally, Treasury yields stabilize and President Biden signs his coronavirus-relief bill.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at records on Thursday as tech shares rallied and Treasury yields stabilized.

Boosting equities was President Joe Biden's signing Thursday of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The president signed the bill a day earlier than expected.

The Dow rose for a fifth day, gaining 188 points, or 0.58%, to 32,485. The S&P 500 was up 1.04% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged 2.52%. 

The Dow and S&P 500 also set intraday all-time highs during the session.

The 10-year Treasury yield steadied at 1.527% on Thursday after the European Central Bank pledged to "significantly" increase the pace of its monthly asset purchases as a way to stem the tide of rising bond yields amid a sputtering economic recovery.

The stabilization in bonds was lifting tech shares, whose valuations have been questioned recently amid an anticipated increase in inflation and expectations of higher borrowing costs.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report and Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report finished higher Thursday. 

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report extended gains as Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Report said it would resume flights with the jet maker's 737 MAX on Thursday and reports said the airline was closing in on a large order for the aircraft.

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Under Biden's stimulus package, millions of Americans will receive $1,400 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits will be extended and funding for vaccine distribution and the reopening of schools will be ramped up.

"The passage of the new COVID stimulus bill means that short-term risks to the economy are largely eliminated," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. 

"Between existing stimulus, renewed growth, and this new bill, the economy is well supported until vaccinations roll out fully."

But McMillan warned that as "economic risks recede ... fears of overheating and inflation are rising. This will only push rates higher, which will create a headwind for markets."

AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get Report, like GameStop  (GME) - Get Report a focus of the Reddit investment crowd, finished higher Thursday after the world's largest movie-theater chain posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss narrower than estimates and said it was optimistic about getting to the "other side of this pandemic."