NEW YORK: The S&P 500 breached the 4,000 mark for the first time on Thursday, powered by gains in technology shares and optimism about a pickup in global economic activity.
A mammoth vaccination drive and a massive fiscal stimulus are expected to drive a recovery in the labour market, prompting investors to look past latest data that showed a rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits last week.
The closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday could show the US economy added 647,000 jobs in March, on top of a 379,000 increase in February.
The blue-chip Dow is just 1% shy off a record high. The Nasdaq, however, is about 5% below its all-time high as a rapid rise in US bond yields accelerated a rotation from richly-valued tech stocks to underpriced economy-linked stocks.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with technology, communication services and energy gaining more than 1%.
Micron Technology Inc jumped 4.6% after the chipmaker forecast fiscal third-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates due to higher demand for memory chips, thanks to 5G smartphones and artificial intelligence software.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq jumped 1.48% as “high flying” stocks including Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc added between 1.1% and 2.4%.
At 10:34 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 123.69 points, or 0.38%, at 33,105.24, the S&P 500 was up 33.86 points, or 0.85%, at 4,006.84.
The three main indexes are set to close out a holiday-shortened week with gains, led by Nasdaq. US stock markets will remain shut for Good Friday holiday.