(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)
* Walgreens rises after forecast raise
* U.S. private payrolls increase in March (Updates to close)
March 31 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 closed higher on Wednesday, boosted by gains in technology shares, and the three major Wall Street indexes registered their fourth straight quarterly rise.
Investors awaited details of President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure plan. The $3 trillion-$4 trillion package will target traditional projects like roads and bridges alongside investments in the electric vehicle market.
The S&P 500 benchmark index came close to hitting 4,000 for the first time as bets on a strong economic rebound helped the market ride out a quarter that invluded a retail trading frenzy, inflation worries, a spike in Treasury yields and a U.S. hedge fund going bust.
The S&P 500 technology index led sector gains, while energy lagged.
“The trend we’re seeing today is investors rotating back into growth-oriented names that have gotten a little bit beaten up over the past few weeks or so due to underlying rotation toward the economic reopening stocks,” said Michael Sheldon, chief investment officer at RDM Financial Group at Hightower.
Some cyclical sectors could also be taking a breather from their rise because of recent strength in the dollar, he said.
“That’s probably had some impact on commodity prices, industrial stocks and possibly financials as well.”
For the quarter, the Nasdaq underperformed the other two major indexes as investors swapped growth-oriented stocks with underpriced shares deemed to benefit most from a full economic reopening. High-flying tech names have been hit by a surge in U.S. 10-year bond yields.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.09 points, or 0.02%, to 33,060.87, the S&P 500 gained 22.58 points, or 0.57%, to 3,981.13 and the Nasdaq Composite added 220.46 points, or 1.69%, to 13,265.85.
The size and scale of Biden’s proposal, as well as the question of how it would be paid for is likely to set the stage for the next partisan clash in Congress.
Apple Inc rose after brokerage UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” on stable long-term demand for iPhones with better authorized service providers.
Walgreens Boots Alliance advanced after raising its 2021 profit forecast on higher sales at its U.S. retail pharmacy stores.
U.S. private employers boosted hiring in March as more Americans got vaccinated against COVID-19. The payroll report was in line with the recent signs of improvement in the labor market and comes ahead of a more comprehensive monthly jobs report on Friday. (Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)