Moderna Shares Rise; Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Stimulus

Markets soared Thursday, with the three major U.S. indices logging gains. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit record highs during trading, while tech-centric Nasdaq finished the day up 2.5%.

A confidence boost arrived as President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law Thursday. The relief package aims to curb the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic by assisting American households, schools, businesses, and state and local governments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 188 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 32,485.

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Moderna stock rises after vaccine news. Biotechnology company Moderna (ticker: MRNA) rose more than 8% Thursday after its late-Wednesday announcement that it had vaccinated the first participants in a study to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.

The study is “designed to address the potential need for booster vaccine candidates, in an amendment to the ongoing Phase 2 clinical study,” the company said.

GE stock tanks. Shares of General Electric Co. ( GE) tumbled more than 7% Thursday, compounding the previous day’s losses.

During a Wednesday investor day, GE announced the sale of GE Capital Aviation Services, its aircraft-leasing business, and proposed a 1-for-8 reverse stock split, which would reduce its number of outstanding shares. GE stock is up about 69% year over year.

Beeple art fetches more than $60 million. Welcome to the weird and wacky world of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which broke a new record Thursday.

A digital art piece by artist Beeple, which has its ownership authenticated via blockchain, sold for more than $60 million in an auction. The art piece, called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” is the most expensive NFT ever sold at an auction and demonstrates the rising popularity of these modern digital assets.

In a statement, the artist, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, said, “I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the next chapter in art history, digital art.”

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