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Dow and S&P 500 hit new record highs, spending on homebuilding surges: Here's how the headlines can affect your money

Plus, how to not overspend as the economy reopens.

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Stocks rose Thursday, and both homebuilding and retail spending surged in March. Here's how the news could affect your money.

The Dow, S&P hit new record highs

U.S. stocks climbed to record levels Thursday after companies reported strong earnings and new data signaled that consumer spending is rebounding. The Dow rose 0.9%, closing above 34,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 gained 1.1% for a record close, and the Nasdaq gained 1.3%, putting it just 0.4% away from its February closing record.

As of Friday morning, markets are mixed

Homebuilding increased in March

Home starts surged 19.4% in March, according to the Commerce Department. This is the highest the figures have been since 2006, and a bigger increase than analysts expected.

Analysts expect the spike is due to builders catching up on construction backlogs after inclement winter weather and the high demand for housing during the pandemic. 

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Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Stimulus checks lead to retail spending boost

The most recent round of stimulus checks contributed to a surge in consumer purchases during March. Retail sales rose 9.8%, according to Commerce Department data. That's more than economists expected, and a significant improvement from February: That month, sales declined 2.7%.

Consumers were mainly spending on sporting goods, clothing, and at bars and restaurants.

As the economy reopens, you might feel the urge to splurge. While that's understandable, you don't want to put yourself in debt. To keep your post-pandemic spending under control, create a budget, continue to save for your goals, and reward yourself responsibly. 

Words you've heard: housing start

The number of new residential construction projects that begin in a month is referred to as housing starts. Housing starts this March were 37% higher than they were last year. 

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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