Stocks hit record high as Biden's speech on infrastructure

8 minutes
Stocks hit record high as Biden's speech on infrastructure

Stocks hit record levels as investors considered a batch of strong earnings results from major companies and a sweeping set of proposals from President Joe Biden aimed at revamping the country’s infrastructure and supporting families, children and students.

After the market opened, the S&P 500 rose to a record high of more than 4,200.The Dow Jones has recovered extraday losses to trade higher by more than 200 points, even as Merck's shares declined sharply after the missing expectations of earnings.The Nasdaq was also advanced by increasing its ranks.

Traders considered Biden's speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday during which he declared that America is back on the move again after a pandemic that cost the U.S. economy and killed hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country.The address also served as a forum for him to launch his $2 trillion infrastructure plan and officially propose a $1.8 trillion proposal aimed at supporting children, students and families, and will be funded in part through tax increases on wealthy Americans.

Earnings season has also continued to chug along.Apple gained the share after the company posted fiscal second quarter results that easily exceeded expectations, with sales coming better than expected across the iOS, iPad and especially the iPhone in the months following the launch of the five G-enabled iPhone 12.Facebook shares also advanced after quarterly results showed a jump in both users and sales, with customers' advertising spending increasing as the pandemic abates.

The strong results from companies including MNCs add to a parade of companies that have so far exceeded expectations in the earnings season, with a increase in corporate profits and consumer confidence driving a surge in economic profit over the doldrums of last year.As of early Wednesday, companies comprising nearly half of the S&P 500's market capitalization had reported earnings data, with 83% of these companies topping estimates and averaged 21.7%.Amazon, including Amazon, has expected to report the results on Thursday.

Traders also considered the Fed Reserve’sFed Reserve’s recent monetary policy statement but added to the New Deal of the Fake Economy.In his press conference Wednesday afternoon, Fed chair Jerome Powell doubled on his message that the Fed was looking for substantial future progress toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability in the coming months, with these criteria needing to be met by actual economic results rather than mere projections for further improvement.

With no meaningful change to monetary policy or communication, this meeting was simply a message to market participants to sit back and observe as the economic recovery continues to unfold, said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management, in an email on Wednesday.The Fed did signal the recovery in the economic recovery pace but came short of making any changes to policies at this point in the cycle.It is difficult to argue the Fed's position on inflation when considering the amount of slack that still exists in the labor market.Nevertheless, if the recovery continues to gain strength, we expect the Fed to adopt a more volatile policy approach.

4:30: 02 p.m.ET: Stocks finish a volatile session higher. S&P 500 reaches record high after more earnings highest expectation is.

Here were the market moves at 4: 02 p.m. today in the markets.12.00 p.m.ET: Uber, Lyft's shares sink after Labor Secretary reportedly supports reclassifying gig workers as employees as employees.

Shares of Uber and Lyft lower intraday on Thursday after Reuters reported that the Labor Secretary Marty Walsh supported reclassifying gig workers as workers, a title that would confer additional benefits to the workers but which would increase cost for the gig economy companies like the ride-hailing giants.Lyft shares sunk in New York around 12:30 while Uber shares were less than 7%.

We are looking at it but in some cases, in some cases they should be treated as employees and I think it has to be consistent across the board, Walsh told Reuters according to a report from the news outlet.

On 17 May 2017 the Bureau of Labor StatisticsLabor Statistics classified about 55 million people as gig workers in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor StatisticsLabor Statistics data.This proportion has been estimated to have climbed ever since in the years since.

The three major indexes traded inside the flat line on Thursday, erasing gains after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each reached record levels earlier in the session.

The Dow trend turned too negative as a 5% drop in Merck shares outweighed gains elsewhere in the index.Merck's first-quarter sales and profit had expectations for the first quarter, bucking the trend of corporate earnings beats across most major companies for broad-based returns.

The health-care sector underperformed in the S&P 500 alongside the information technology and materials sectors.After strong earnings results from Facebook, communication services outperformed.

10: 00 a.m.With home sales on the decline in March, the price of home sold rose in three months at $341 million.

Pending home sales rose in March over February, posting a monthly advance for the first time since December as rising mortgage rates, tight inventory and inclement weather in February cooled some of the recent housing market's rise.

Pending home sales increased in March by 1.9% in February, after a downwardly revised drop of 11.9% in March, said the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.The economy came in short of the 4.4% gain predicted by Bloomberg however, according to the consensus data.

The increase in pending sales transactions for the month of March is indicative of high housing demand, Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a press statement.'With mortgage rates still near their high values and a strong job recovery underway, the demand will likely stay high.

9: 30 a.m.ET: Stocks open at record levels in the euro zone.

Here's where markets started off trading after the opening bell:

8 : 45 a.m.The population economy jumped more than expected in the first quarter to a 6.4% annualized rate, with personal consumptions more than expected being expected.

United States GDP increase in the first three months of 2021 at a rate that was seasonally adjusted annualized quarterly on the US population, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday in its first estimate on GDP.This marked an acceleration from the 4.3% annualized growth rate from the fourth quarter of 2020, but was slightly lower than estimates for 6.7% according to Bloomberg consensus data.

Personal consumption, the biggest contributor to United States economic activity, jumped 10.7%, aided by two rounds of stimulus checks sent to most Americans and easing social distancing restrictions that allowed consumers to go out more often to spend.The rise occurred markedly from the 2.3% increase in personal consumption in the fourth quarter and represented the second-fastest growth rate in about 50 years.

However, when weighing GDP was a fall in private inventories, with demand beginning to severely outweigh supply during the recovery.This also spurred a sharp increase in imports with the shrinking trade deficit also weighing on GDP in the first quarter.

8: 41 a.m.NEW claims and jobless claims fall to a fresh pandemic level, dipping from the past week's upwardly revised limit.

The latest weekly jobless claims dipped in the Labor Department'sLabor Department's latest report, reaching a pandemic-era low of 553,000 for the week ending April 24.This came in slightly higher than the projected 540,000, but was lower than the 566,000 reported for the prior week.

New worklessness claims kept below 600,000 for a third straight week, dipping back to the lowest level since mid-March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the US economy.During the comparative week of the last year, new weekly claims totaled nearly 3.5 million.

After a downwardly revised 3.651 million during the week of April 17, continuing claims slowly ticked up after a downwardly revised 3.765 million during the previous week.

8 -- 15 a.m.With new york City Mayor Bill de Blasio to reopen the city on July 1, MSNBC says the city will reopen fully

Bill de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday morning that NYC would open with full capacity beginning July 1.

On 1 July, our plan is to fully reopen the shop.We are ready for stores to open, for companies to open, office, theaters, full force de Blasio said.

The announcement comes after a New York City vaccine rollout accelerationMore than 6.3 million doses have been vaccinated in the city so far and over one-third of the adult population of the city has been administered fully.

7: 20 a.m.E.T. Thursday: Stock futures point to a higher open after the House Debate, strong earnings and Congress' Biden address.

Here's where stocks were trading shortly before the opening bell on Thursday.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.Follow her on twitter: emily mcck!

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