Stocks climb to all-time highs on growth outlook

Olivia Raimonde and Kamaron Leach

U.S. stocks rose to all-time highs as increased stimulus in the world’s largest economy fueled optimism about the global recovery.

The S&P 500 Index climbed past 4,000 for the first time as investors weighed President Joe Biden’s newly unveiled $2.25 trillion spending plan ahead of Friday’s U.S. employment report, which is expected to show the quickest pace of hiring in five months. Technology shares led the rally, with investors again favoring growth over value stocks. Treasuries rebounded after the worst quarter in decades. Oil climbed after the OPEC+ alliance agreed to increase production gradually over the next three months.

In this Nov. 23, 2020 file photo, stone sculptures adorn the New York Stock Exchange.

“We think the S&P 500 hitting a high point is a sign of the positive environment in this highly volatile time,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments LLC.

Traders are jockeying for position before the Easter weekend after data showed U.S. private employers hired the most workers in six months, while initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased. Biden’s ambitious plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure has added to the growth outlook, even though Republican opposition to the plan raises questions about how much can actually be delivered.

“Before you worry about inflation, there’s reflation and I think that’s the main theme in the market,” said Ed Campbell, portfolio manager and managing director at QMA.

Microsoft Corp. climbed for a second day as the company’s multibillion-dollar deal to build customized versions of its HoloLens goggles for the U.S. Army moved forward. Western Digital Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. rallied after a report the two companies are individually exploring a potential deal for Japan’s Kioxia Holdings Corp.

Investors remain focused on inflation risk as central banks reassert their commitment to low interest rates. Traders for now are looking past worsening virus trends, such as lockdowns in France and Canada’s Ontario province.

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Some key events to watch this week: U.S. employment report for March on Friday.Good Friday starts the Easter weekend in countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia and Canada.These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks The S&P 500 rose 0.9% as of 12:21 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.1%.Currencies The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.3%.The euro increased 0.4% to $1.1773.The Japanese yen strengthened 0.1% to 110.56 per dollar.Bonds The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined six basis points to 1.68%.Germany’s 10-year yield sank four basis points to -0.33%.Britain’s 10-year yield slid five basis points to 0.795%.Commodities West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 2.1% to $60.39 a barrel.Gold strengthened 1% to $1,725.48 an ounce.2021 Bloomberg L.P.