Major stock indexes all hit new records on renewed stimulus hopes

U.S. stocks climbed to all-time highs and Treasury yields jumped on Friday after a report showing U.S. employment gains slowed in November bolstered expectations for more federal stimulus.

All major indexes for U.S. equities—the S&P 500, the Dow Jones industrial average, the Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq composite—closed at records. Such synchronized highs were last seen in January 2018. The dollar posted its biggest weekly decline in five, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note reached the highest in nine months.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.9%, to 3,699.13. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.8%, to 30,217.77, with the biggest advance in more than a week. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.7%, to 12,464.23.

“One of the recurring themes this year is the resiliency of the market, it’s been amazing and impressive,” said John Porter, head of equities at Mellon Investments.

Labor Department figures showed nonfarm payrolls increased by a less-than-forecast 245,000 from the prior month, as the unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percentage point to 6.7%. President-elect Joe Biden called the report “grim” and said it shows “there’s no time to lose” for Congress to pass a new COVID relief bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there’s momentum building toward a compromise fiscal stimulus plan, though Republicans complained about the scale of aid to states included in the bipartisan proposal that’s become the best chance yet for a deal.

“The market is betting that we’ll get a relief package soon,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co. “If anything, this weaker report will get them to agree on a package sooner rather than later.”

Elsewhere, oil climbed as OPEC+ reached an agreement to ease its output cuts next year more gradually than previously planned. Bitcoin declined for the first time in three days after flirting this week with $20,000.

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