Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record as investors eye fiscal stimulus

12/17/2020 | 08:34pm EDT
A Christmas tree is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange

(Reuters) - Technology shares lifted the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs on Thursday as investors grew more optimistic about a coronavirus stimulus bill, helping markets look past signs of economic strain brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The S&P 500 technology and consumer discretionary indexes also hit record highs, up 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

A surge in technology outsourcing firm Accenture gave the S&P 500 its strongest lift.

Top Republicans and Democrats grew closer to agreeing on a fresh round of aid in response to a crisis that has killed more than 304,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work.

Many investors saw the passing of new measures to support the economy as imminent after data showed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

That followed a reading on Wednesday that showed U.S. retail sales falling more than expected in November, as consumer spending remained constrained.

"It's all about stimulus today and expectations of a pathway to the deal," said Ryan Giannotto, director of research at GraniteShares in New York City.

Developments on the vaccine front were also lifting the market, with Moderna Inc awaiting U.S. approval for deploying what would be the nation's second COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna's stock jumped 4%.

The S&P 500 has climbed 15% in 2020, despite the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.44% at 30,285.97 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.53% to 3,720.69.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.68% to 12,744.90.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1% and also hit a record high, now up 18% year to date.

"In the very short term, I think we are a little bit over bought here," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

He noted that best-performing sectors like technology were most at risk of a pull back, while some of the "more unloved sectors" like financials and energy were getting fresh attention as investors looked for bargains.

Google-parent Alphabet dipped 1% after a group of 38 U.S. states and territories filed an antitrust complaint accusing Google of trying to extend its search monopoly to dominate smart speakers, televisions and cars.

Accenture jumped 8% after it raised its annual sales forecast and beat quarterly revenue estimates as an extended work-from-home period boosted its digital, cloud and security services.

General Mills Inc rose 1% after it beat second-quarter profit estimates, boosted by sales of its pet foods and baking products.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.94-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.92-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 233 new highs and 10 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

By Noel Randewich and Karen Pierog

ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ACCENTURE PLC 1.53% 285.56 Delayed Quote.9.32%
ALPHABET INC. 1.42% 2436.25 Delayed Quote.39.00%
CITY DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED -1.61% 7.34 End-of-day quote.-7.90%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 1.76% 33876.97 Delayed Quote.8.77%
GENERAL MILLS, INC. 0.64% 60.14 Delayed Quote.2.28%
MODERNA, INC. 4.54% 208.24 Delayed Quote.99.33%
NASDAQ 100 0.62% 14137.229572 Delayed Quote.9.01%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.79% 14141.480379 Delayed Quote.8.86%
S&P 500 1.40% 4224.79 Delayed Quote.10.93%
THE CHARLES SCHWAB CORPORATION 4.17% 72.74 Delayed Quote.37.14%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
03:57aDaimler wants to produce its own battery cells - Business Insider
03:55aChina stocks close higher as banking, energy firms climb
03:54aDollar pauses ahead of Fed testimony, cryptocurrencies attempt recovery
03:42aGlencore says to re-start Congo's Mutanda mine towards end of 2021
03:35aGKN-owner Melrose to return $1 billion to shareholders after Nortek sale
03:22aLondon stocks gain on energy boost, hopes of record-low interest rates
03:17aTop cocoa producers threaten to name and shame brands over premiums
03:17aChina iron ore futures plunge on regulator's price monitoring plan
03:15aDS Smith sees record second-half growth on online shopping boom
03:10aOil rises on optimism of quick recovery in global demand
Latest news "Economy & Forex"