Continued optimism that Congress will come up with a COVID stimulus package this week helped lift Wall Street into record territory on Thursday. The Dow rose 148 points to 30,303, the S&P 500 rose 21 points to 3,722, and the Nasdaq rose 106 points to 12,764. All three were record high closings. The optimism on the stimulus package was tempered by a Labor Department report showing that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose by 23,000 to 885,000 last week, the biggest number since September, per the AP.
Analysts were actually expecting a small decline in the jobless figure, making the pending relief package in Congress all the more important to investors. “Any stimulus is good stimulus at this point, especially when you’re coming through a rough patch,” Mary Nicola of PineBridge Investments tells the Wall Street Journal. “This will provide a bit more of a boost to the recovery.”
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