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Wall Street Climbs to Record as Pandemic Aid, Federal Budget Bill Signed

FILE - Atmosphere in and around Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, New York City, June 14, 2020. Each of Wall Street's main indexes closed at record levels on December 28, 2020.

U.S. stocks rallied Monday, with each of Wall Street's main indexes closing at record levels as President Donald Trump's signing of a long-awaited $2.3 trillion budget bill that includes pandemic aid increased optimism for an economic recovery.

In a sudden reversal late Sunday, Trump backed down from his threat to block the hard-fought bill, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a federal government shutdown.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 207.58 points, or 0.69%, to 30,407.45, the S&P 500 gained 32.34 points, or 0.87%, to 3,735.4 and the Nasdaq Composite added 94.69 points, or 0.74%, to 12,899.42.

Stocks battered by coronavirus lockdowns, such as airlines and cruise lines, advanced. The S&P 1500 airlines index gained as carriers are set to receive $15 billion in addition payroll assistance under the new government aid.

Cruise operators Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd each rose by at least 3%.

On a sector basis, gains were led by communication services, consumer discretionary and tech as each climbed more than 1%.

After a sharp recovery from a coronavirus crash in March, the S&P 500 is on track to rise more than 15% this year on the back of a loose monetary policy and a COVID-19 vaccine program that has raised hopes the economic environment will improve.

Despite the generally favorable conditions for equities, worries over a resurgence in coronavirus cases, upcoming U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia and stretched valuations could become headwinds. The forward price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P is currently about 22.2, well above its long-term average of 15.3.

Adding to a global appetite for risk, Britain and the European Union clinched a lean post-Brexit trade deal Thursday, while a mass COVID-19 vaccination drive in Europe was launched over the weekend.