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S&P 500 breaks record with new gains

S&P 500 breaks record with new gains
© Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed at a new record high Thursday, closing at 4,097, a 17-point or 0.4 percent gain, just a week after it cracked 4,000 for the first time.

The index was pushed up by growth in tech stocks, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average remained shy of their recent records.

The continued winning streak comes despite a worse-than-expected unemployment reading, which found 744,000 new jobless claims, an increase over the past two weeks and higher than economists expected.

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Still, the combination of increased vaccination rates, a gargantuan dose of fiscal stimulus and expectations of a swift economic recovery continued pushing markets up.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also addressed inflation concerns Thursday, saying they appeared overblown.

"We don’t think that’s the most likely outcome but we do have the tools to deal with that outcome," he said at an International Monetary Fund event.

"We will use them to guide inflation back to 2 percent if the need arises. In the most likely case, this period will show temporarily higher prices but not persistent inflation," he said.

Last month, stocks wobbled as bond yields spiked, an indication that investors expected a spike in inflation.