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S&P 500 Closes Above 4,000 as Wall Street Weighs Biden Spending Plan

Stocks rise after President Biden unveils a $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan and traders look to Friday's report on the U.S. jobs market.

Stocks rose on Thursday after President Joe Biden unveiled a $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan and traders looked to Friday's report on the U.S. jobs market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 171 points, or 0.52%, to 33,153, and the S&P 500 jumped 1.18% to almost 4,020, establishing an all-time closing high and crossing 4,000 for the first time. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.76%.

Leading the Dow higher was Salesforce  (CRM) - Get, inc. Report, the producer of customer-relationship-management solutions, which rose 3.2%.

Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report added 2.9% Thursday after the technology giant won a huge Pentagon contract for augmented reality headsets that could be worth nearly $22 billion over the next 10 years.

TheStreet Chartist Bret Kenwell Says Microsoft Is Verging on a Breakout

Semiconductor-related companies were prominently in the green within the Nasdaq 100: Lam Research  (LRCX) - Get Lam Research Corporation Report, Applied Materials  (AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report, KLA  (KLAC) - Get KLA Corporation Report, Micron  (MU) - Get Micron Technology, Inc. Report and Xilinx  (XLNX) - Get Xilinx, Inc. Report were all higher. 

Nasdaq Rally, Infrastructure Bumps, Cards Off the Table, Microsoft's 'Pennant'

Biden's infrastructure proposal includes a doubling of federal funding for public transportation, $650 billion for clean water and high-speed broadband, more than $500 billion in spending on manufacturing, and $400 billion for improved care for the elderly and people with disabilities.

To pay the bill, Biden's plan would increase the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and set a 21% minimum tax on global corporate earnings.

Biden’s plan drew criticism from Republicans who complained the increase in taxes will undo corporate gains during the Trump administration, while some progressive Democrats said the package didn't go far enough.

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"The larger impact to markets will be whether or not the corporate tax rate is raised to 28% - or somewhere in between there and the current 21% level - and whether or not a global minimum tax on corporations can be established," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. 

"It’s likely that the stock market can withstand a hike in the corporate tax rate to 25%, but unclear how much room there is above that if stocks are going to keep moving higher between now and year-end," Zaccarelli added.

Oil prices in the U.S. jumped 4.28% to $61.69 a barrel after OPEC and its partners announced an agreement to gradually boost production beginning in May.

Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. jumped, a surprising result that underscores the uneven recovery in the nation's job market. 

The official U.S. jobs report for March will be released on Good Friday, a day when stock markets will be closed. 

Economists expect the U.S. to have added 614,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate falling to 6%.

Manufacturing in the U.S., meanwhile, expanded in March at the fastest pace since 1983. 

A resurgence in COVID-19 cases forced France into its third national lockdown and Ontario is expected to announce the province will be put under lockdown restrictions for 28 days.

In the U.S., a mixup at an Emergent BioSolutions  (EBS) - Get Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Report manufacturing plant in Maryland ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ COVID-19 vaccine, forcing a halt in deliveries from the facility. J&J shares, also part of the Dow 30, finished down 0.9%.

The S&P 500 closed higher Wednesday and rose for the fourth straight quarter, finishing with a gain for the period of 5.8%. The broad market index set an intraday all-time high during the session.

The Dow closed the first three months of the year with a gain of 7.8%. The Nasdaq rose 2.8% in the first quarter.

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