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S&P 500 posts first 8-day winning streak since 2013; Dow jumps 113 points

  • The S&P 500 posted an eight-day winning streak and its sixth straight record close.
  • Financials and information technology led advancers in the index.
  • The move higher in financials follows a rise in yields sparked by the House passing a $4.1 trillion budget, the first concrete step toward tax reform.
  • Wall Street also looked ahead to Friday's jobs report.

U.S. stocks hit record highs Thursday as the S&P 500 completed its longest winning streak in four years.

The broad index gained 0.6 percent to 2,552.07, notching intraday and closing records. It was also posted an eight-day winning streak, its longest since 2013. The S&P 500 also had its sixth straight record close, the longest such streak since 1997.

Financials and information technology led advancers in the S&P 500. The move higher in financials follows a rise in yields sparked by the House passing a $4.1 trillion budget, the first concrete step toward tax reform.

"We got some good news on tax reform. Obviously, it's not a done deal but it's a step in the right direction," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. But "we still don't fully know who the winners and losers from tax reform will be."

The Nasdaq composite also hit intraday and closing records, advancing 0.8 percent to 6,585.36. The index was also on track to complete an eight-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 113.75 points to 22,775.39, and notched intraday and closing all-time highs. Goldman Sachs and Boeing contributed the most to the gains.

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"Investors are looking at broad economic growth, and not just in the U.S., but globally," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "Investors are also looking ahead to earnings season and are feeling optimistic about companies."

Overall, stocks have rallied to record highs this week after strong economic data and renewed hopes for tax reform.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.

President Donald Trump touted the stock market Thursday morning, saying on Twitter: "Stock Market hits an ALL-TIME high! Unemployment lowest in 16 years! Business and manufacturing enthusiasm at highest level in decades!"

"The economic backdrop is very strong," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. "We had multiyear highs on both ISM numbers and the impact from the hurricanes on the overall economy seems to be smaller than expected."

"When the stream of economic data is strong, the impact from events like hurricanes tends to be smaller," Frederick said.

On the data front Thursday, weekly jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 260,000. Meanwhile, the trade deficit shrank by 2.7 percent to $42.4 billion in August. Factory orders rose 1.2 percent in August, more than the expected 1 percent increase.

Wall Street also looked ahead to the government's monthly employment report, which is set for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

"Consensus expects a 100,000 gain last month after adding 156,000 in August. That seems reasonable, but is still uncertain after the impact of Hurricane Irma and Harvey," said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research. "Just as important and something the Fed will be watching closely is average hourly earnings given its weak print of only a 0.1% m/m rise in August."

"Strong reports for both figures could benefit financials as it would allow the Fed to continue raising rates, a positive for lending-based banks that benefit from a steeper yield curve," Colas said.

Correction: The S&P was on track to post its longest streak of record closes since 1997. An earlier version mischaracterized the streak.