Nasdaq rallies as Biden unveils infrastructure plan


NEW YORK – Tech shares rallied on Wednesday (March 31) to conclude the first quarter on a positive note as markets digested early details of US President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan.

Large technology companies including Apple and Facebook scored big increases, reversing some of the weakness in the recent period as investors have steered funds to airlines, oil companies and other sectors expected to prosper in a post-coronavirus .

“Now that the selling is done for all these companies, it makes sense that (tech shares) rally,” said Chris Low of FHN Financial.

The tech-rich Composite Index jumped 1.5 per cent to 13,246.87.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.3 per cent to 32,981.5, ending the quarter with a 7.8 per cent gain, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4 per cent to 3,972.89, narrowly missing a record.

Data from payroll services firm ADP showed private US employment jumped by 517,000 in March, slightly less than economists had expected but much better than the 176,000 gain in February and a welcome rebound after several tepid results in the pandemic recovery.

Meanwhile, investors were assessing early reports on Biden’s US$2 trillion (S$2.7 trillion) infrastructure plan, the details of which were released in Pittsburgh later in the day.

The plan includes some US$620 billion in transport, with Biden targeting a hike in the corporate tax rate to finance the spending.

Among individual stocks, Walgreens Boots Alliance advanced 3.6 per cent after it raised its 2021 projections despite reporting mixed results.

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