Stocks closed broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday, helped by strong company earnings as well as optimism that Washington can reach a deal for another round of fiscal stimulus for the millions of Americans who need it. The Dow rose 332 points to 31,055; the S&P 500 rose 41 points to 3,871; and the Nasdaq rose 167 points to 13,777. All the gains were slightly above 1%. Stocks have been mostly rallying this week, an encouraging start to February after a late fade in January, per the AP. Volatility spiked last month amid worries about the timing and scope of another round of stimulus spending by the Biden administration and unease over the effectiveness of the government’s coronavirus vaccine distribution.
“The path of least resistance seems to be higher," said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “We had a few minor pullbacks since the start of the year, but it really seems an extension of what we saw in the fourth quarter where it seems the market is anticipating lockdowns ending, people going back to work and economies broadly opening." Wall Street continues to be focused on individual company earnings. Shares of eBay rose 5.5% and PayPal climbed 6.7% after both companies reported results that blew away Wall Street's expectations. This will continue to be a busy week for earnings for investors. Ford Motor Co. will report after the closing bell, along with Gilead Sciences, News Corp., and Wynn Resorts.
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