February 26, 2024

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Solid company earnings and hopes for aid send stocks higher | National

3 min read

A broad rally on Wall Street Thursday added to the market’s solid gains this week and pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite to all-time highs.

Strong company earnings and optimism that Washington can reach a deal for another round of fiscal stimulus for millions of Americans who need it has kept investors in a buying mood this week. The S&P 500 rose 1.1%, eclipsing the benchmark index’s last record high set early last week. The three major stock indexes are on track for weekly gains above 3%, an encouraging start to February after a late fade in January.

Financial and technology companies lead the way higher. Small-company stocks also had a strong showing, another bullish signal that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy.

β€œThe path of least resistance seems to be higher,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network. β€œWe 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.”

The S&P 500 index rose 41.57 points to 3,871.74. It was the index’s fourth-straight gain. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 332.26 points, or 1.1%, to 31,055.86. The technology-heavy Nasdaq gained 167.20 points, or 1.2%, to 13,777.74, also an all-time high. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks climbed 42.72 points, or 2%, to 2,202.42.

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