Stocks have started out 2021 on an optimistic note, sending most major stock market benchmarks to all-time highs in recent days. On Thursday, that optimism continued to take shape. Even with a big rise in jobless claims, investors seem hopeful that Washington will be able to reach some compromise that will allow Americans to get larger stimulus checks than the $600 that just got approved. As of 10:30 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was up 136 points to 31,197. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) had risen 13 points to 3,823, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) had picked up 84 points to 13,214.
The aerospace industry had a couple of the biggest winners on Thursday. Shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE) spiked higher on news that has more to do with Wall Street than orbital mechanics, while Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has airline stock investors feeling more confident about what 2021 will bring.