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US STOCKS-Wall Street at record highs on stimulus bets

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Devik Jain and Medha Singh
·2 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stockmarkets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Tesla invests $1.5 bln in bitcoin; crypto stocks jump

* Disney, Cisco climb ahead of results this week

* Indexes up: Dow 0.58%, S&P 0.51%, Nasdaq 0.67%(Updates to open)

By Devik Jain and Medha Singh

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes scaled all-timehighs on Monday, as investors bets on hopes that a fiscal reliefpackage and a global vaccine roll-out would lead to a speedyeconomic recovery.

Oil prices rose to their highest in more than a year,lifting energy stocks 2.2%, the most among major S&Psectors. The defensive real estates, utilitiesand consumer staples underperformed.

The S&P 500 and the Dow rose for the sixthstraight session, their longest streak of gains since August,also helped by upbeat quarterly earnings.

Walt Disney Co, Cisco Systems Inc andGeneral Motors Co were up between 2.2% and 3.5% ahead oftheir earnings reports this week.

Sentiment was also boosted by U.S. Treasury Secretary JanetYellen's comment on Sunday that if Congress approves the $1.9trillion plan, the country would get back to full employmentnext year.

The Congress on Friday approved a budget plan that wouldallow a coronavirus relief bill to muscle through in the comingweeks without Republican support.

"We now have a situation where the Democrats do not needrepublican approval in order to move ahead with the full $1.9trillion stimulus package," said Thomas Hayes, managing memberat Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

At 09:57 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Averagerose 181.40 points, or 0.58%, to 31,329.64, the S&P 500gained 19.88 points, or 0.51%, to 3,906.71 and the NasdaqComposite gained 93.17 points, or 0.67%, to 13,949.47.

Progress in vaccination efforts and upbeat fourth-quarterearnings have helped investors shrug off fears of a short-termpullback in stocks due to lofty valuations and increasingcoronavirus infections.

Bitcoin surged more than 10% to a record highafter Tesla Inc said it had invested around $1.5billion in the cryptocurrency and would begin accepting paymentin bitcoins for its cars and other products.

Tesla shares rose about 2%, while cryptocurrency miner RiotBlockchain and Marathon Patent Group surgedover 16% and 20%, respectively.

S&P 500 companies were now on track to post earnings growthfor the fourth quarter as opposed to a prior forecast ofdecline, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.7-to-1 ratioon the NYSE as well as the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 34 new 52-week highs and no new low,while the Nasdaq recorded 472 new highs and seven new lows.(Reporting by Devik Jain, Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh inBengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)