Stocks rose on Monday, extending advances after stocks’ best week since November last week.
The Dow added more than 100 points, or 0.4%, to a fresh record high, and both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also reached record intraday levels. Bitcoin prices spiked more than 12% to a record high of more than $43,000 after Tesla disclosed it purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and may start allowing customers to use Bitcoin to purchase products.
Investor optimism over another round of fiscal stimulus out of Washington helped boost U.S. equities over the past week. A disappointing monthly jobs report last week bolstered the case for additional support to households and businesses, according to lawmakers including President Joe Biden. And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CBS on Sunday the U.S. could return to full employment by 2022 – or two to three years ahead of some current projections – if measures in Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan were enacted.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to move forward with a legislative process known as reconciliation, allowing Democratic lawmakers to try and expediently pass another major coronavirus relief package without needing Republican votes. Congressional committees are poised to begin drafting legislation for the package starting this week, which is expected to include another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, hundreds of billions of dollars in state and local aid and enhanced federal unemployment benefits.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have started to show encouraging signs of easing, though uncertainty still remains over the path of the virus going forward. New cases have averaged just below 118,000 per day over the past week, for a drop of 31% from the average from two weeks earlier, according to New York Times data as of January 7.