Technology stocks lead S&P 500, Dow to record highs

Reuters April 15 | Updated on April 16, 2021

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, on Thursday, March 12, 2020.   -  Bloomberg

Dow gains 0.82% and Nasdaq up 1.04%

The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Thursday as easing inflation concerns boosted demand for richly valued technology stocks, while upbeat earningsreports and strong March retail sales raised hopes of a broader economic rebound.

The S&P information technology and communication services indexes, which include Apple Inc,Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc, led gainsafter underperforming last month.

Assurances from the Federal Reserve to maintain an accommodative monetary policy despite higher inflation, as wellas more fiscal stimulus, have since revived U.S. stock marketsand put the Nasdaq about 1.2% below its all-time high.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield slipped below 1.6% for the first time since March 25.

Top US banks kicked off the first-quarter reporting season on Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorganChase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co posting bumperresults.

Bank of America and Citigroup also offered optimistic viewson an economic recovery in their earnings reports on Thursday,but shares of the second-biggest U.S. lender fell 2.9%after it posted a profit that just about topped estimates.Citi's shares were 0.2% lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 305.10 points, or 0.90%, at 34,035.99, the S&P 500 was up 45.75 points, or 1.11%, at 4,170.42, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 180.92 points, or 1.31%, at 14,038.75.

BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager,gained 2.5% after reporting a 16% jump in first-quarter profit,while PepsiCo Inc edged 0.2% higher after it forecast apickup in organic revenue growth in the second quarter.

Further bolstering sentiment, data showed retail sales jumped sharply in March as Americans received additional pandemic relief checks from the government, while jobless claimsfell more than expected to 576,000 last week to a one-year low.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase added 2%, a day after going public in a high-profile debut on the Nasdaq thatbriefly valued it at more than $100 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.60-to-1 ratioon the NYSE, while declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.14-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 73 new 52-week highs and no new low,while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and 36 new lows.

Published on April 16, 2021

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