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S&P 500 straddles Microsoft and Amazon to record nearly 4,000 north

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REUTERS – The S&P 500 surged Thursday to hit its first-ever close above the 4000 mark, thanks to gains from Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, as well as optimism about the resumption of the American economy.

Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Nvidia jumped 1% or more, these and other growth stocks showing signs of revival after falling behind in recent weeks compared to so-called value stocks which are expected to outperform as l economy is recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Data showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week. However, other data showed that a measure of manufacturing activity reached its highest level in over 37 years in March, with factory employment being the highest since February 2018.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.53% to end at 33,155.85 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.19% to 4,020.07. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.76% to 13,480.28.

With its latest record, the S&P 500 was up about 7% in 2021, and it gained 80% from its March 2020 low.

“We are still optimistic for this year, and we believe that with the stimulus measures, with the Fed determined to be accommodating, with the economy reopening due to more of the United States getting vaccinated, in overall, corporate earnings are doing pretty well, ”said King Lip, chief investment strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco.

The Nasdaq remained about 5 percent below its all-time Feb.12 close, still edging up after higher US bond yields hurt tech stocks.

Most S&P sectors advanced, with technology, communications services and energy gaining more than 1%.

Micron Technology Inc surged after chipmaker forecast third quarter revenue higher than Wall Street estimates due to higher demand for memory chips, thanks to 5G smartphones and intelligence software artificial.

Rival Taiwan Semiconductor’s US-listed shares rose after it said it would invest US $ 100 billion over three years to meet growing demand for chips.

The US stock markets will close on Good Friday for the holidays.

The CBOE volatility index fell below 18 points for the first time in 14 months, a level last seen before the global financial market collapse due to coronaviruses in March 2020.

Johnson & Johnson fell after the drugmaker said it found a problem with a batch of the drug substance for its COVID-19 vaccine produced by Emergent Biosolutions, whose shares fell.

(Additional reporting by Devik Jain and Medha singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and David Gregorio)

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