Stocks rise to records in anticipation of U.S. stimulus plan; yields up

Caroline Valetkevitch

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks indexes climbed to record levels and U.S. bond yields edged higher on Thursday as investors focused on U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's pandemic aid proposal.

On Wall Street, the Dow and Nasdaq rose to record highs, while MSCI's all-country world index also hit an all-time high.

Biden is expected later on Thursday to unveil a stimulus package proposal designed to jump-start the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

"For a while investors have been looking forward to what the picture might be like once the vaccine is fully distributed and the worst parts of the pandemic over," said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

"There is a little bit of a fear of 'sell on the news' that when (stimulus) is actually introduced, it won't be as large as some people like or it's possible that the market will start to look at how it's going to be paid for."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 125.07 points, or 0.4%, to 31,185.54, the S&P 500 gained 8.97 points, or 0.24%, to 3,818.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 54.24 points, or 0.41%, to 13,183.19.

European shares gained for a third straight session. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.72% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.47%.

Earlier, the Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu all rose sharply after sources told Reuters and the Wall Street Journal that plans to extend a U.S. investment ban to the firms' stocks had been scrapped.

In the currency market, the dollar index fell 0.243%, with the euro up 0.12% to $1.2171.

Bitcoin held gains after a slide of nearly $12,000 from last week's record high of $42,000. It briefly hit $40,000 on Thursday.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last fell 1/32 in price to yield 1.09%, from 1.088% late on Wednesday.

Since the beginning of the month, 10-year yields have climbed more than 20 basis points.

Oil prices were lower as surging global coronavirus cases and new lockdowns overshadowed bullish signals from Chinese import data and U.S. crude oil stocks draws.

Spot gold added 0.6% to $1,854.16 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by Marc Jones and Shadia Nasralla in London, and Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Steve Orlofsky and Dan Grebler)