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Stock Market News for Mar 12, 2021

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Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read
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Benchmarks closed in the positive territory on Thursday after President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to boost the coronavirus pandemic plagued economy, while tech shares also made a comeback.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 188.57 points, or 0.6%, to close at 32,485.58 and the S&P 500 rose 40.52 points, or 1%, to close at 3,939.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 13,398.67, adding 329.84 points, or 2.5%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 2.9%, to close at 21.91. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for 2.9-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored advancers.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow hit an all-time high for the fourth straight session and finished above the 32,000 milestone for the first time on Thursday. The blue-chip index’s biggest movers were, The Boeing Company BA, NIKE, Inc. NKE and Microsoft Corporation MSFT that closed at least 2% higher for the day. Microsoft holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

On Thursday, China’s semiconductor trade association formed a new group to work with their American peers to ease the recent trade tensions between the two countries. This helped chip stocks climb north yesterday. Shares of NVIDIA Corporation NVDA and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD add at least 4%, while Xilinx, Inc. XLNX gained 6.2%. Additionally, investors’ comeback into tech boosted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Tech bigwigs like Facebook, Inc. FB, Alphabet Inc. GOOGL and Netflix, Inc. NFLX closed at least 3% higher for the session.

Pinduoduo Inc. PDD and MercadoLibre, Inc. MELI emerged as the biggest gainers of the tech-laden Nasdaq, rising at least 9% yesterday followed by more than a 8% gain in shares of Moderna, Inc. MRNA and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. MRVL.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight ended in the green. The technology and communication services sectors closed 2.1% and 1.8% higher on Thursday followed by more than 1.5% jump in consumer discretionary and real estate sectors.

Overall, the S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 234 new highs and seven new lows.

Biden Signs the $1.9 Trillion Relief Package

On Thursday afternoon, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package into law. The relief package includes direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans, along with $350 billion for state, local and tribal relief. The bill also adds another $7.25 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program for loans to small businesses. The law has also expanded child tax credit for one-year, which will help to cut the number of children raised in poverty. And, more than $80 billion will be put to help bail out underfunded pensions and help schools reopen and make in-person classes safer for a certain time period.

The stimulus package also provides nearly $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccination programs. It will provide money to ramp up vaccination among the major population and aid in efforts to keep track of new strains of the coronavirus. Additionally, the White house has reported that household stimulus checks could start reaching bank accounts this weekend.

Initial Jobless Claims Dips Last Week

The Labor Department reported yesterday that initial jobless claims fell sharply in the week ending Mar 6. Traditionally, filed initial claims through the states fell by 42,000 to 712,000 last week, much lower than the consensus estimate of 730,000 claims. However, initial claims for the week ending Feb 27 were upwardly revised to 754,000. Additionally, the number of people already collecting unemployment benefits fell 193,000 to a seasonally adjusted 4.14 million, which is the lowest level of continuing claims since the pandemic hit in March last year.

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
NIKE, Inc. (NKE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Boeing Company (BA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Xilinx, Inc. (XLNX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
MercadoLibre, Inc. (MELI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Pinduoduo Inc. Sponsored ADR (PDD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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