S&P 500, Nasdaq close at record highs as $1.9 trillion stimulus package works its way through Congress

Reuters

  • US stocks gained on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 closing at record highs.
  • The gain was driven by continued progress on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
  • A weaker than expected January jobs report could boost chances of Biden’s stimulus deal getting passed.
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US stocks gained on Friday as a weaker than expected jobs report set the stage for a swift passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 indexes closed at record highs.

The US Senate approved a budget measure early Friday morning to enable the passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill without Republican support. The approval, for which Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tiebreaking vote, came hours before the January jobs report missed analyst estimates.

The US added just 49,000 jobs in January, well below the estimate for 105,000 new jobs. But the unemployment rate continued to decline, falling to 6.3% from 6.7%.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Friday:

  • S&P 500: 3,886.80, up 0.39%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 31,148.11, up 0.3% (92.25 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 13,856.30, up 0.57%

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Also supporting stocks on Friday was Johnson & Johnson’s submission of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine data to the Food Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. The FDA could approve the vaccine in a matter of weeks, and Johnson & Johnson said it would supply the US with 100 million doses by the summer.

GameStop and AMC Entertainment had small bounces on Friday after Robinhood removed all buying restrictions on the volatile stocks that were involved a short squeeze last week.

Shares of Pinterest surged as much as 11% on Friday after the company reported earnings that beat analyst expectations. The social-media platform said it added 100 million users in 2020.

The strong demand for Peloton bikes has led to extensive wait times for new customers, and the stock fell 7% after the company said it would invest $100 million to help shrink long wait times to more acceptable levels.

The former baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez is betting that investor demand for special-purpose acquisition company initial public offerings will remain elevated in the 2021. Rodriguez filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to form the Slam Corp. SPAC, which is seeking up to $575 million to search for a deal. Rodriguez will serve as the CEO. 

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 1.32% to $56.98 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 1.04%, going up to $59.44 per barrel at intraday highs.

Gold rose 1.14% to $1,812.70 per ounce.

Read more: Investors are flocking to trade Dogecoin and other hot digital tokens on Voyager, a platform with no Robinhood-style restrictions. Its CEO says Bitcoin will hit $100,000 this year – and shares 3 other cryptocurrencies to watch.

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