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Stock market news live updates: Stocks rise to reach record highs; Bitcoin prices spike

·Reporter
·8 min read
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Stocks rose on Monday, extending advances after stocks' best week since November last week.

[Click here to read what's moving markets heading into Tuesday, February 9]

The Dow added more than 200 points, or about 0.8%, to a fresh record high, and both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also reached record intraday levels. The S&P 500's six-day winning streak marked its longest since August, and the Dow posted its best start to a February since 1931 with a rise of 4.7% so far for the month. Bitcoin prices spiked more than 12% to a record high of more than $43,000 after Tesla disclosed it purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and may start allowing customers to use Bitcoin to purchase products.

Investor optimism over another round of fiscal stimulus out of Washington helped boost U.S. equities over the past week. A disappointing monthly jobs report last week bolstered the case for additional support to households and businesses, according to lawmakers including President Joe Biden. And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CBS on Sunday the U.S. could return to full employment by 2022 – or two to three years ahead of some current projections – if measures in Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan were enacted.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to move forward with a legislative process known as reconciliation, allowing Democratic lawmakers to try and expediently pass another major coronavirus relief package without needing Republican votes. Congressional committees are poised to begin drafting legislation for the package starting this week, which is expected to include another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, hundreds of billions of dollars in state and local aid and enhanced federal unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have started to show encouraging signs of easing, though uncertainty still remains over the path of the virus going forward. New cases have averaged just below 118,000 per day over the past week, for a drop of 31% from the average from two weeks earlier, according to New York Times data as of January 7.

Still, however, tight vaccine supplies are on the COVID-19 vaccination program, even as the rate of vaccinations has recently improved to more than 1 million doses per day. Biden told CBS Evening News on Sunday that it would be "very difficult" to reach herd immunity, or with about 75% of the U.S. population vaccinated, by the end of this summer.

Traders this week will also be eyeing another heavy slate of corporate earnings results. So far, the vast majority of companies that have already results have handily beaten expectations, even after a series of upward revisions over the past couple months.

Heading into this week, 59% of the S&P 500 has so far reported fourth-quarter results, according to data from FactSet. Of these, 81% of companies beat earnings expectations, which would tie it for the second-highest percentage of earnings beats since FactSet began tracking the metric in 2008. And earnings are currently on track to rise by 1.7% for the fourth quarter, which would mark the first quarter that S&P 500 companies report aggregate earnings growth since the final quarter of 2019.

Companies including Lyft (LYFT), Uber (UBER), Twitter (TWTR), Coca-Cola (KO) and Disney (DIS) are poised to report quarterly results later this week.

4:06 p.m. ET: Stocks end at record levels, rising for a sixth straight day

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:06 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +28.76 (+0.74%) to 3,915.59

  • Dow (^DJI): +237.52 (+0.76%) to 31,385.76

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +131.35 (+0.95%) to 13,987.64

  • Crude (CL=F): +$1.15 (+2.02%) to $58.00 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$19.00 (+1.05%) to $1,832.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1 bps to yield 1.1600%

2:05 p.m. ET: Stocks hold onto gains, energy stocks outperform

Stocks held higher in intraday trading on Monday, extending gains after touching record highs.

The energy, materials and financials sectors outperformed in the S&P 500, as optimism about additional stimulus and the stronger economic recovery that could ensue as a result boosted shares of companies that had been badly beaten down earlier on during the pandemic. The healthcare, real estatea and utilities sectors lagged.

Here's where markets were trading with about two hours left of the regular trading day:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +13.75 points (+0.35%) to 3,900.58

  • Dow (^DJI): +137.07 points (+0.44%) to 31,285.31

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +75.02 points (+0.54%) to 13,930.88

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.58 (+1.02%) to $57.43 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$20.40 (+1.13%) to $1,833.40 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.2 bps to yield 1.158%

11:46 a.m. ET: Is the broader market in a bubble? 'The answer is no': CIO

With the S&P 500 continuing to set new highs despite the COVID-19 pandemic, elevated joblessness and economic strain, some have raised the notion that equities are beginning to convey bubble-like characteristics. However, according to some strategists, those assessment may be misplaced.

"The question has been, is the broad market a bubble? Is this a general stock market bubble? And the answer is no," Hugh Johnson, Hugh Johnson Advisors chairman and chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance. "The reason is, there’s really three defining characteristics of bubbles. One is widespread optimism, and one of the thing that’s been very missing in the move up in stock prices is optimism. Yes, optimism has increased, but it’s certainly not what I would call exuberant, and it certainly hasn’t gotten to the point where we’d call it euphoria, which is characteristic of a bubble."

"The second thing is overvaluation. I do think we’re overvalued. I think we’re about 6% overvalue, or above the level we should average for the current quarter, but it’s certainly not extreme," he added. "And the final thing which is probably the most important of them all is leverage. And we look at the leverage number, it’s the level of margin debt relative to the entire market, and quite frankly it’s nowhere near where we saw say in the 2000 dot-com bubble."

9:42 a.m. ET: Stocks hit record intraday levels

Here’s where markets were trading Monday morning:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +18.71 points (+0.48%) to 3,905.54

  • Dow (^DJI): +182.14 points (+0.58%) to 31,330.48

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +86.53 points (+0.62%) to 13,942.23

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.58 (+1.02%) to $57.43 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$21.30 (+1.17%) to $1,834.30 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.4 bps to yield 1.184%

7:55 a.m. ET: Tesla says it bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin, according to SEC filing; Bitcoin prices hit record high

Tesla (TSLA) disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday that it purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin after an update to the company's investment policy allowed it to allocate a portion of its cash to alternative reserve assets including the cryptocurrency.

"In January 2021, we updated our investment policy to provide us with more flexibility to further diversify and maximize returns on our cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity," Tesla said in the filing. "As part of the policy, which was duly approved by the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, we may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future. Thereafter, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin under this policy and may acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long-term."

Tesla said it also expects to begin accepting bitcoin as payment for its products "in the near future," with some limitations.

Bitcoin prices (BTC-USD) jumped more than 8% to a record high after the filing was posted, sailing above $42,000.

7:26 a.m. ET Monday: Futures point to a higher open, adding to Friday's gains

Here’s where markets were trading ahead of the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,892.25, up 12 points or 0.31%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 31,167.00, up 125 points or 0.4%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,638.00, up 40 points or 0.29%

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.66 (+1.16%) to $57.51 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$8.40 (+0.46%) to $1,821.40 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +1.9 bps to yield 1.189%

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 26: A trader walks by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the first day that traders are allowed back onto the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City. While only a small number of traders will be returning at this time, those that do will have to take temperature checks and wear face masks at all times while on the floor. The Dow rose over 600 points in morning trading as investors see economic activity in America picking up (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 26: A trader walks by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the first day that traders are allowed back onto the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City. While only a small number of traders will be returning at this time, those that do will have to take temperature checks and wear face masks at all times while on the floor. The Dow rose over 600 points in morning trading as investors see economic activity in America picking up (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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