Stock Market Today Live Updates: Dow Continues to Climb as S&P 500 Rises, Approaching

The S&P 500 is close to the first record high in nearly two years. Is today the day?

The benchmark index inched higher Thursday after finishing Wednesday just 0.3% away from its closing record reached in January 2022. The index has come a long way: It has climbed 34% from last year’s low, helped along by a monstrous rally this quarter.

The U.S. dollar is also in focus. The greenback is on track to fall for a sixth consecutive session Thursday, putting the WSJ Dollar index at its weakest level since July.

A weak dollar probably isn’t a bad thing. The fall has been driven by investor optimism about the global economy, and has accelerated as traders boost bets on Fed interest-rate cuts next year. A weaker dollar also means higher profits for U.S. companies with big overseas operations.

Stock indexes advanced. All three major U.S. indexes are up modestly and are poised for a ninth consecutive weekly gain. That would mark the longest streak for the S&P 500 since its nine-week streak ending Jan. 3, 2004.

A Santa rally appears to be in the cards as well.

Asian stocks rallied after Beijing appeared to soften a crackdown on videogame makers. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 2.5% and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.4%. Internet giants Tencent and NetEase each gained more than 2%.

Oil prices declined as traders assessed risks of shipping disruptions in the Red Sea. Brent crude fell more than 1% to trade below $79 a barrel.

Bitcoin slipped below $43,000 but still remained close to its 2023 high.

Treasury yields rose slightly, with the yield on the 10-year note rising beyond 3.8%.

Data watch: Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, increased by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000 in the week ending Dec. 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was slightly more than the 215,000 that economists expected.

This article was originally published by a . Read the Original article here. .