U.S. stocks advanced as investors looked toward signs that Washington is moving ahead with a spending bill. Oil futures rallied, while yields on benchmark Treasury notes rose past 1.2%.
The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high ahead of a three-day weekend, adding more than 1% for the week, with energy producers among the best performers. Expedia Group Inc. fell after reporting results that missed expectations. European stocks gained.
Hovering near record highs, stocks are looking for fresh catalysts. Even as vaccines are distributed to millions, the emergence of new virus variants threaten to extend lockdowns and delay economic recoveries. House Democrats made progress on the spending bill, approving $1,400 checks to most Americans. The Senate remained occupied by former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“Largely moving sideways is a reflection of the fact that we’ve had some pretty significant volatility in the two weeks preceding that and now we’re waiting for some of the current catalysts to manifest themselves,” said Arthur Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities Corp.
The MSCI World index of global stocks climbed 1.8% in the past five days, setting its own record.
Part of the driver for the rally is that investors believe President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 relief package will deliver plenty of aid to the U.S. economy. At the same time, the vaccine rollout is making progress. Biden announced on Thursday that the U.S. has finished deals for 100 million additional vaccine doses each from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.
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