What a week. The S&P 500 closed out Thursday's session with its fourth record close in a row as hopes for global monetary stimulus kept hopes high on Wall Street.
The benchmark index gained 0.52%, securing a record close of 2,164. The Dow Jones Industrial Average scored a record close for its third day in a row, climbing 0.73% to 18,506. The Nasdaq added 0.57%.
The S&P 500 and Dow clinched new record closes on Wednesday, though just barely, after a day of wavering between gains and losses. New records were also made on Monday and Tuesday after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report brought relief over the state of the U.S. economy.
"The news coverage seems to be split between those calling for even higher stock prices and those who are worried that a new bubble is forming," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, in a note.
"Although risks exist, they are actually lower than they have been," McMillan continued. "Europe and Britain seem committed to an amicable separation, for example, and China's economy seems to be improving. U.S. company earnings are declining but look likely to grow over the next couple of quarters as the economy improves and headwinds subside."
The Bank of England opted to leave its key interest rate at 0.5% in the first monetary decision since the United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union. The central bank also held steady on its 375-billion-pound asset purchase program, though suggested it might be ready to increase stimulus next month. Global traders had expected members to decide upon a rate cut for the first time since 2009.
"In the absence of a further worsening in the trade-off between supporting growth and returning inflation to target on a sustainable basis, most members of the Committee expect monetary policy to be loosened in August," the central bank said in a statement.
Hopes are high the Bank of Japan could implement another source of stimulus in a strategy called helicopter money, wherein the central bank would directly fund government spending. The BOJ already purchases government bonds as a means of monetary stimulus. Its quantitative and qualitative easing program has been in place since 2013.
Crude oil prices recaptured a level above $45 a barrel on Thursday, rebounding after a major selloff a day earlier. Commodities had sold off on Wednesday after a weekly read on U.S. inventories showed a smaller-than-expected decline.
West Texas Intermediate rose 1.7% to close at $45.53 a barrel on Thursday.
Markets are pricing in one interest rate hike in the U.S. at the most in 2016, but Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said the central bank could raise two times before the end of the year. In May, Harker predicted two to three increases this year. Harker said the U.S. economy is on "fairly firm footing" during an event in Philadelphia Wednesday evening.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart added to rate hike discussion on Thursday, noting that the Brexit decision had muddied the U.S. economic outlook. Lockhart said he was "comfortable with a cautious and patient approach to policy in the near term" during a speech in Idaho.
JPMorganChase (JPM) - Get Report did the heavy lifting on the Dow after beating profit estimates for its second quarter. The bank earned $1.55 a share over the quarter, 12 cents above forecasts. Revenue rose to $25.21 billion, higher than an expected $24.16 billion. The company's shares jumped by 1.5% Thursday.