Stocks hit record highs, bitcoin surges after Tesla news

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes registered all-time closing highs on Monday amid optimism over U.S. fiscal stimulus, and bitcoin jumped after Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, New York, U.S., October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The world’s most widely-held cryptocurrency, bitcoin touched a record high following the Tesla Inc disclosure, which was seen as significant since Tesla is the fifth most-valuable U.S. company, and its CEO, Elon Musk, is among the world’s richest people. [nL4N2KE3BF]

Tesla shares were up 1.3%, while cryptocurrency miner Riot Blockchain jumped 40.2% and Marathon Patent Group climbed 42.4%.

“Musk getting involved in Bitcoin, to those investing in Bitcoin, will be used as a way to tell others that this is a real asset, you can actually do something with it. They will support it as an argument of being the way of the future,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 closed up for a sixth straight session in its longest streak of consecutive higher daily closes since a seven-day run from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28 last year. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe also hit another record high.

Feeding the optimism were comments on Sunday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said that if Congress approves President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, the country would get back to full employment next year.

Congress on Friday approved a budget outline that would allow a stimulus bill to muscle through in the coming weeks without Republican support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.52 points, or 0.76%, to 31,385.76, the S&P 500 gained 28.76 points, or 0.74%, to 3,915.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 131.35 points, or 0.95%, to 13,987.64.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.30%, while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.74%.

Oil prices rose 2% to their highest in over a year, with Brent nudging past $60 a barrel, boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for U.S. economic stimulus.

Brent rose $1.22, or 2.1%, to settle at $60.56 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose $1.12, or 2%, to settle at $57.97 a barrel. Both benchmarks were at the highest since January 2020.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields held near 11-month highs as U.S. fiscal stimulus was seen boosting economic growth and spurring inflation.

Benchmark 10-year yields were last at 1.167%, after earlier reaching 1.200%, the highest since March. Thirty-year yields US30YT=RR were last 1.953%, after earlier rising above 2% for the first time since last February.

The dollar was flat to slightly lower.

The dollar index fell 0.035%, with the euro up 0.05% to $1.2048.

Spot gold added 1.1% to $1,831.13 an ounce.

Additional reporting by Karen Brettell in New York, Devik Jain, Shreyashi Sanyal and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Marc Jones in London; and Swati Pandey in Sydney; Editing by Larry King, Dan Grebler, David Gregorio and Sonya Hepinstall