Markets finish week with record highs

Pedestrians walk by the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Monday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Jan. 8 (UPI) — Stocks closed at record highs Friday amid hopes for another round of stimulus funds even as the U.S. Labor Department posted disappointing jobs data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.2% at 31,097.97, a new record high. The S&P 500 had a 0.6% boost, closing at 3,824.68 and the Nasdaq Composite closed up 1% to 13,201 — both records.

Coca-Cola boosted the Dow with a 2.2% bump, and Tesla helped the Nasdaq with a 7.8% increase.

The increases came despite the U.S. government reporting a loss of 140,000 jobs during December amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysts had expected a gain of 50,000 jobs last month.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7%, largely in line with analysts’ estimates.

But with the impending inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and a Congress now fully controlled by Democrats, the markets may be benefiting from investors’ hopes for a new round of stimulus legislation.

Biden has promised to push for $2,000 stimulus checks for individuals, though Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has indicated he would only support such a measure if payments were limited to people who really needed them, according to The Washington Post.


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