Market Snapshot: Dow logs longest streak of monthly gains in 22 years as it closes above 24,000

U.S. stocks rallied Thursday, with the Dow finishing above 24,000 for the first time in history, as investors grew more optimistic about the prospects for a tax overhaul out of Washington.

All major indexes closed higher for the month, with the S&P 500 and Dow logging new records, while the blue-chip index set its longest streak of monthly gains in more than 22 years.

Where did main benchmarks end?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.39% soared 331.67 points, or 1.4%, to 24,272.35.

Read: Dow tops 24,000 for first time as investors learn to love the bull market

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.82% rose 21.51 points, or 0.8%, to 2,647.58, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.73% climbed 49.58 points, or 0.7%, to 6,873.97.

The Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.12%  of small-cap stocks fizzled after touching a record in early trading to rise 1.37 points to 1,543.90.

The day’s gains were broad, with all 11 of the S&P 500’s primary sectors finishing in positive territory, led by energy shares, which were among the biggest gainers.

Read: As stocks rally, Carl Icahn cautions against ‘euphoric state’

What are the moves for the month?

For November, the Dow added 3.8%, its eighth straight month of gains — the longest such streak since 1995, according to FactSet.

The S&P 500 gained 2.8%, also up for eight months in a row, matching its eight-month rally from 2007, and the Nasdaq rose 2.2%.

The year itself has been a blockbuster for stocks, with the three major indexes gaining between 18% and 28% for the year, driven by economic expansion, upbeat corporate profits, lack of competition from other assets and hopes that the Trump administration and Congress will deliver on tax cuts.

Read: Goldman says highest valuations since 1900 leave investors in for a world of hurt

What drove the market?

Optimism was building ahead of a Senate vote on a Republican-backed tax bill, which could take place by Thursday evening. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to open a formal debate on the proposed tax changes.

In the latest economic data, jobless claims came in under forecasts in the latest week, while layoffs remained near 45-year lows. Separately, consumer spending rose 0.3% in October, slightly above the 0.2% forecast.

Don’t miss: Automation could impact 375 million jobs by 2030, new study suggests

What are strategists saying?

“What had lifted the market in the first part of the year was an ever-improving economy and profitability. It wasn’t about the prospect for tax reform. What you’re seeing now, however, is the next leg where tax reform starts to get baked in. If you bake in what tax reform means, the market doesn’t look pricey,” said Alicia Levine, investment strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

“There are still a lot of details we don’t know, but if the corporate tax rate is moved down near 20%, you’d be adding $10 per share to S&P 500 earnings. If you do that, valuations are not out of whack with what growth rates will be.”

Which stocks were key movers?

Megacap tech stocks, hard hit on Wednesday, rebounded. Facebook FB, +1.17% rose 1.2% and Amazon.com AMZN, +1.33%  climbed 1.3%, while Apple AAPL, +1.40%  gained 1.4%.

Shares of Juniper Networks Inc. JNPR, -5.93%  fell 5.9% after Nokia Corp. NOKIA, +0.14% NOK, -0.20%  denied it was interested in acquiring the networking company.

Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS, -11.54%  tumbled 12% after the company reported a second-quarter loss that was wider than expected.

Kroger Co. KR, +6.07%  jumped 6.1% after third-quarter earnings came in ahead of analyst expectations.

L Brands Inc. LB, +6.74% , the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, rallied 6.7% after reporting November same-store sales.

How did other assets fare?

European stocks SXXP, -0.33% closed lower, while Asian markets ADOW, -0.78%  had a largely weaker day, as Wednesday’s U.S. tech selloff hit related shares in Asia hard.

Oil futures CLJ8, +0.12%  ended modestly higher after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-member producers agreed to extend their oil production-cut agreement to the end of 2018.

Read: Russia riles OPEC plans for a longer oil production-cut extension

A key U.S. dollar index DXY, -0.21%  was trading lower, with the dollar posting its worst monthly loss since July. Meanwhile, the British pound GBPUSD, -0.0591%  continued to move higher amid rising optimism over Brexit negotiations.

Read: FTSE 100 slides to 2-month low as pound rallies on Brexit hopes

Gold futures GCZ7, -0.61%  settled lower and bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.29%  prices were down 6.7% to $9,492.20, after trading above $10,000 in Asia. A partial outage on digital currency exchanges such as Coinbase caused bitcoin prices to whipsaw on Wednesday, with the price of one bitcoin dropping $2,000 from above $11,000, then recovering to just under $10,000 by late afternoon.

Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this report.

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