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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2020 file photo, stone sculptures adorn the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, Thursday, April 1, 2021 led by more gains in technology giants and smaller companies. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Wall Street kicked April off with a milestone Thursday, as a tech company rally helped drive the S&P 500 past the 4,000 mark for the first time.

The benchmark index finished 1.2 percent higher a day after closing out the first three months of the year with its fourth straight quarterly gain. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Google's parent company were among the winners, along with smaller companies, which stand to benefit from a quickly growing economy. Health care, household goods stocks and utilities were the only laggards.

Technology stocks benefited from another drop in bond yields, which have been the driving force for the market for several weeks. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.69 percent from 1.73 percent the day before. Higher bond yields make stocks seem more expensive by comparison, and tech stocks are among the most expensive after their significant rise last year. Microsoft rose 2.8 percent, Facebook gained 1.4 percent, Amazon.com added 2.2 percent and Google parent Alphabet closed 3.3 percent higher.

The S&P 500 rose 46.98 to 4,019.87. The index's latest all-time high is its second in seven days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 171.66 points, or 0.5 percent, to 33,153.21. The technology-heavy Nasdaq climbed 233.23 points, or 1.8 percent, to 13,480.11.

Smaller companies continued to notch solid gains. The Russell 2000 index picked up 33.38 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,253.90.

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