US stocks build on record highs as tech shares gain and Fed policy stays supportive

US stocks build on record highs as tech shares gain and Fed policy stays supportive
Xinhua/Wang Ying/Getty Images
  • The S&P 500 closed at a record high Thursday and pushed closer to the 4,100 mark.
  • Technology shares fronted gains among stocks as Treasury yields declined.
  • Equities advanced as the Federal Reserve indicates it will stick with monetary policy accommodative to economic recovery.

Wall Street notched a new record high for stocks on Thursday, with tech shares leading the way after the Federal Reserve signaled its willingness to keep monetary policy directed toward supporting the recovery of the world's largest economy from the COVID-19 crisis.

The S&P 500 ended on its strongest level on record, adding to its highest close ever in the previous session. The benchmark's information technology sector fronted the advance while blue-chip stocks tracked on the Dow Jones Industrial Average overcame earlier losses.

Here's where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. on Thursday:
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Stocks gained after minutes from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee's mid-March meeting released Wednesday pointed to the board's view that monetary policy should remain accommodative to growth prospects.

"While the economy is showing signs of recovery and markets are pricing in a strong rebound in growth, members of the FOMC said it would likely be some time before they will need to start winding down their $120 billion in bond purchases, which is seen as an initial step on the path toward raising interest rates," said David Wagner, portfolio manager at Aptus Capital Advisors, in comments emailed to Insider.

Tech stocks recently have been under pressure as long-term Treasury yields stepped up to 14-months highs, but a pullback in implied borrowing costs helped tech shares rise Thursday.
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"In the last week, after a strong jobs and ISM services reports, yields trended lower. This means that people are starting to believe that the Fed will remain patient on its policy - taking their word on their consistent policy statements," said Wagner.

Around the markets, Microsoft approached $2 trillion in market value as its stock hits a record high. GameStop shares turned lower, giving up earlier gains that came after the video game retailer said it plans to elect Reddit favorite Ryan Cohen as chairman.
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Trading app Robinhood reportedly failed to disclose data on certain stock trades for more than a year.

Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel warned bitcoin might serve as a Chinese financial weapon against the US - and says it threatens the dollar.

Gold rose 0.6% to $1,753.20 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield down at 1.647%.
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Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude lost about 0.3% to trade at $59.75 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 0.1%, to $63.27 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose 3.3% to $57,954.

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