The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose to all-time highs on Thursday as Wall Street wrapped up one of the most volatile years for the market in recent memory.
The 30-stock index popped 196.62 points to end the year at 30,606.48. Intel rose 2.2% to lead the Dow higher.
The S&P 500 regained 24.03 points to 3,756.07. Financials and utilities advanced more than 1% each to lift the S&P 500.
The NASDAQ added 18.28 points to 12,888.28.
Equities fell sharply in February and March as the COVID pandemic spread outside of China. The S&P 500 suffered its most rapid 30% drawdown on record.
But after bottoming out in late March, and amid unprecedented action by the Federal Reserve to shore up the credit markets, stocks rebounded dramatically and have ripped off a series of record highs before the end of year.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ gained 43.6% this year, posting its best one-year performance since 2009. The S&P 500 closed 2020 with a 16.3% gain. The Dow rose 7.3% in 2020.
Investors digested on Thursday a better-than-expected reading on U.S. weekly jobless claims. The U.S. Labor Department declared the number of first-time unemployment-benefits filers totaled 787,000 for the week ending Dec. 26. Economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting a print of 828,000.
The latest leg higher for the market has been fueled by the rollout of vaccines and a new economic relief package from Congress, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked efforts to increase the amount of direct stimulus payments to $2,000 from $600.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, lowering yields to 0.92%, from Wednesday’s 0.94%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices were static at $48.40 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices gained $8.20 to $1,901.60.