NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks capped a strong week with fresh records on Friday (Feb 5), fuelled by on optimism over more fiscal stimulus spending and progress on coronavirus vaccines.
The broad-based S&P 500 finished up 0.4 per cent at 3,886.83, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.6 per cent to 13,856.30. Both were at all-time highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 per cent to 31,148.24.
Analysts said President Joe Biden’s US$1.9 trillion (S$2.5 trillion) federal relief package picked up momentum from Friday’s lackluster US jobs report.
The closely-watched jobs data showed the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 per cent in January but the economy added only 49,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economist Joel Naroff expects Washington to produce another relief package “within the next few weeks,” he said in a note.
“The economy is being supported by the federal government and the markets are reaping the rewards,” Naroff wrote.
Adding to the positive momentum was news that Johnson & Johnson submitted an application with US health authorities for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine.
The process could take several weeks, but if approved, the vaccine would be the third authorized in the United States, after those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
The J&J vaccine is considered especially promising because it only requires one shot, unlike the other options already being used. J&J jumped 1.5 per cent.
Ford rose 1.2 per cent after the auto giant announced a dramatic acceleration of its investment push into electric autos and said it would pursue additional venture with technology companies.