US stocks climb to record levels as investors optimistic on Biden stimulus plan


US stock market indexes closed Monday at record levels with stimulus optimism amid a faster recovery in the world’s largest economy.


The Dow Jones climbed to an all-time high of 31,386 points to close one point off that mark. The blue chip index is now on a six-day winning streak — the longest since August.


The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each ended at record levels of 3,908 and 13,987, respectively.


Oil majors were the largest gainers with ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips gaining 4.3 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, as prices rose around 2 percent in hopes of a recovery in the global economy and overall crude demand around the world.


Brent crude was at $60.70 per barrel, up 1.9 percent at 4.15 p.m. EDT (2115GMT) and American West Texas Intermediate at $58.10 with a 2.2-percent gain.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday the US economy could return to full employment next year if Congress passes President Joe Biden’s $1.9-trillion relief plan.


Without any stimulus, the pandemic-hit economy would see high levels of unemployment for many years, she told CNN.


“We have people suffering,” she said. “We have to get them to the other side and make sure that this doesn’t take a permanent toll on their lives.”


While Republicans find the almost $2 trillion price too high, Biden indicated last week he could pass it without their support but said he prefers a bipartisan bill.


Although the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points from the previous month to 6.3 percent in January, there are still 10.1 million unemployed individuals, according to Department of Labor figures released Friday.


More than 22 million people in the US lost their jobs in March and April last year due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).


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