NEW YORK (AFP) – The S&P 500 finished above 4,000 for the first time on Thursday (April 1), surging to a fresh record as strong manufacturing data bolstered confidence in the economic rebound.

The broad-based equity index jumped 1.2 per cent to end the day at 4,019.87.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5 per cent to close at 33,153.21, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.8 per cent to 13,480.11.

The heady session marked a strong start to the second quarter a day after President Joe Biden formally announced a massive US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) infrastructure plan which he said would create millions of good jobs.

Biden’s proposal faces hurdles on Capitol Hill, but investors remain bullish about the coming months in the wake of the giant fiscal stimulus package approved in mid-March, and the accelerating coronavirus vaccine campaign in the United States.

Expectations of a strong corporate earnings season later this month are prompting investors to make fresh bets on stocks, analysts said.

“Today is just one of those days you look across the board and it seems to just be pretty good,” said TD Ameritrade market strategist JJ Kinahan, who attributed the bounce in tech shares partly to the ebbing of US Treasury bond yields.

A monthly survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed a jump in manufacturing activity thanks to rising demand, although the report also pointed to supply bottlenecks, as well as rising prices in the wake of Covid-19 shutdowns.

New applications for jobless benefits in the US spiked last week, reversing most of the improvement in the prior week when the total dipped below 700,000 for the first time since the pandemic shuttered the US economy.

History for S&P 500 with first close above 4,000

The report comes ahead of Friday’s closely-watched monthly government jobs data which is expected to be a blockbuster.

The stock market will be closed for Good Friday.