S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs for 2nd day as tech giants rally

S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs for 2nd day as tech giants rally

AP Images / Richard Drew

US stocks gained on Thursday as investors cheered the Biden administration's strategy to better tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden revealed plans to accelerate testing, vaccine rollouts, and reopenings early Thursday morning.

Initial jobless claims fell to 900,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected claims to total 935,000.

Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities rose on Thursday as investors bet on the Biden administration to accelerate the nation's economic recovery.President Joe Biden unveiled new plans for how the government will tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday. The president aims to sign 10 executive orders and invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate testing, vaccine distribution, and reopen schools and businesses.Efforts to better curb the virus's spread are set to join a push for additional fiscal support. The president called for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package earlier in the month that includes $1,400 direct payments, expanded unemployment insurance, and relief for states and municipalities.Optimism around new stimulus and strong quarterly figures from Netflix lifted tech stocks for a second consecutive day. Smaller gains in the consumer discretionary and communications sectors were enough to offset losses elsewhere in the S&P 500. Energy and materials stocks lagged the modest market climb.A 
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