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S&P 500 Caps Fourth Consecutive Quarterly Gain

Index was outperformed by small-company stocks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2021 3:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – Stocks closed mostly higher on Wall Street, clinching the 4th straight quarterly gain for the S&P 500. The benchmark index rose 0.4% Wednesday, bringing its gain for the first three months of the year to 5.8%. The quarterly gain for the index, which tracks large US companies, was eclipsed by the 12.4% jump in the Russell 2000 index tracking small-company stocks, the AP reports. Investors have favored smaller companies for months in anticipation that the economy will pick up this year as more people get vaccinated and as more pandemic restrictions are lifted. The S&P 500 rose 14.34 points Wednesday to 3,972.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 85.41 points, or 0.3%, to 32,981.55. The Nasdaq rose 201.48 points, or 1.5%, to 13,246.87. The Russell 2000 index rose 24.72 points, or 1.1%, to 2,220.52.

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Tech stocks and companies expected to deliver big growth in the future were helping to lead the way for the market. Apple climbed 2.2%, and Tesla rose 4.9%. It's a reprieve for the group, which led the market earlier in the pandemic but has since lost momentum amid a sharp rise in Treasury yields. In a speech in Pittsburgh, President Biden is expected to give details about where he wants to steer federal dollars to rebuild roads, bridges, and the electric grid. Such programs could mean gushers of revenue for everything from raw-material producers to electric-vehicle makers. Investors will be closely watching for details on the infrastructure plan to get a better sense of future priorities, said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategy director at US Bank Wealth Management

(Read more stock market stories.)

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