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SP 500, Nasdaq Hit New Closing Highs Amid Upbeat Earnings

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Feb 4 Reuters U.S. stocks rose more than 1 on Thursday and the SP 500 and Nasdaq posted record closing highs after another batch of upbeat earnings and data suggesting the labor market may be stabilizing.

The Dow and SP 500 rose for a fourth straight day, with investor hopes of further progress on a pandemicrelief package also boosting the market. Democrats in the U.S. Senate were poised to take a first step toward the ultimate passage of President Joe Bidens 1.9 trillion COVID19 relief proposal.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits decreased further last week, according to the Labor Departments report.

The economic data, earnings news and talks of the 1.9 trillion stimulus package are all good for Wall Street, said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago. Thats why were seeing the market continue to rally.

Strongerthanexpected results so far in the fourth quarter have driven up analysts expectations, and SP 500 companies are now on track to post earnings growth for the quarter instead of a decline as initially expected.

A pandemicdriven surge in online shopping during the holiday season helped ecommerce firm eBay Inc and payment platform PayPal Holdings Inc top quarterly earnings estimates. PayPal shares rose 7.4 and eBay gained 5.3.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 332.26 points, or 1.08, to 31,055.86, the SP 500 gained 41.57 points, or 1.09, to 3,871.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added…

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