(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)
* Walgreens top gainer on Dow after profit beat
* Weekly jobless claims dip unexpectedly
* DXC jumps on $10 bln takeover offer from French rival
* Indexes up: Dow 1%, S&P 1.5%, Nasdaq 2.4% (Adds comment; updates market prices)
By Medha Singh and Devik Jain
Jan 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street hit record levels on Thursday as market participants bet on more coronavirus relief aid under a Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress to help the economy ride out a steep pandemic-led downturn.
Economy-linked financials .SPSY jumped 2.1%, while industrial .SPLRCI and materials .SPLRCM sectors hovered near record highs on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden would line up a bigger fiscal package and boost infrastructure spending. seeing a reflation trade on the assumption that a more progressive and aggressive fiscal stimulus packages could be in the offing," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GlobAlt in Atlanta.
Rate-sensitive bank shares .SPXBK gained 3.3%, tracking a surge in the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield . US/
The S&P 500 technology .SPLRCT , up 2.4%, was set to more than make up for its losses from a day earlier, when shares of some of the biggest technology companies dropped on fears of increased regulation.
The NYSE FANG+TM index .NYFANG , which includes the core FAANG group of stocks that have led the Wall Street rally from pandemic lows, gained 2.1%.
The Congress on Thursday certified Biden's election victory, hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy that briefly weighed on markets. 11:47 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 306.47 points, or 0.99%, to 31,135.87, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 57.18 points, or 1.53%, to 3,805.32 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 306.33 points, or 2.40%, to 13,047.12.
The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits unexpectedly dipped last week, while staying elevated, a Labor Department report showed, with the job market recovery appearing to stall as COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm the country. more stimulus coming, even if we do have a miss on claims, it's going to be a little bit less severe, because we know there's going to be a bigger back up for those who are recently unemployed," said Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation at Pacific Life Fund Advisors in Newport Beach, California.
Investors are now awaiting a comprehensive December jobs report, which is expected on Friday.
DXC Technology DXC.N surged 7% as France's IT consulting group Atos ATOS.PA made a more than $10 billion takeover approach for its U.S. rival, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. maker Tesla Inc TSLA.O jumped 6% to a record high after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its stock rating to "sector perform". Boots Alliance Inc WBA.O advanced 6.6%, leading gains among Dow components .DJI , after it beat analysts' estimates for adjusted quarterly profit, driven by higher sales at its retail pharmacy stores and higher prescription volumes. issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.6-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.8-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 posted 92 new 52-week highs and no new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 445 new highs and 13 new lows.
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