The index rose nearly 1.2% to close at a record high of 4,019 points on Thursday. The Dow was up 171 points, or 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.8%.
The advances come after the Institute for Supply Management said that US manufacturing activity grew for the 10th straight month in March. Growing demand helped offset the impact of snarled supply chains and rising commodity prices.
“Consumers have become more optimistic in recent months, as expanding vaccine distribution and a marked decline in new Covid-19 cases have provided tangible evidence of progress and a growing sense that better days are coming, perhaps sooner than expected,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors. “Unsurprisingly, that upbeat mood has translated to a greater willingness to spend.”
They also follow a solid, if turbulent, first quarter, which closed out on Wednesday. During the first three months of the year, the S&P 500 gained 5.8%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.8%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which has come under pressure in recent months, climbed a more modest 2.8%.
April has historically been a strong month for US stocks. They’ve closed higher during the month 14 out of the past 15 years, according to LPL Financial market strategist Ryan Detrick.