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Stocks rise to record highs on talk of COVID-19 relief deal

Stock markets hit new record highs on Thursday, as hopes on Wall Street that the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and an emerging relief deal in Congress overcame worries about rising weekly jobless claims. 

The S&P 500 closed up 21 points, or 0.6 percent, at 3,722, a new record, and the Nasdaq composite opened up 107 points, or 0.8 percent, for a fresh record of 12,765.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 147 points, or 0.5 percent, at 30,301, above its record close from earlier in the month, but just below its intraday trading record.

The uptick comes as Congress closes in on a $900 billion stimulus deal that is expected to give the flailing economic recovery a shot in the arm.

Weekly jobless claims rose for the second week in a row, according to Thursday data from the Labor Department, reaching their highest level since September.

Updates at 4:02 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Dow Jones Wall Street

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