The S&P 500 reached an intra-day record high on Wednesday but stopped short of 4,000 points, as investors focused on a swift vaccine rollout and expectations of a massive U.S. infrastructure package that would fuel economic growth.
The index rose about 14.3 points, or 0.36%, to end at 3,972.9 points, shy of its March 26 record high close. During the session, it reached as much as 3,994.4 points, its highest intra-day level ever. [.N]
The latest gain for Wall Street’s most widely followed benchmark underscores investors’ confidence that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed as vaccines roll out and businesses reopen.
All three Wall Street indexes notched their fourth straight quarterly gain, overcoming high-profile hedge fund failures, a surge in interest rates and worrisome new virus variants. It has been just over a year since the bottom of a short-lived pandemic bear market.
Wall Street is now focused on whether Democrats in the U.S. Congress can push through a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure proposal backed by President Joe Biden that is likely to lead to a partisan clash.
Following Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus bill signed into law on March 11, concern that a recovering economy could spark inflation has pushed yields on benchmark U.S. Treasury securities to their highest in more than a year.
Recent gains in the S&P 500 have been accompanied by a rotation into value stocks expected to outperform as the economy improves. Such value stocks have outperformed high-priced technology and other growth stocks in recent months.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich and Alden Bentley)