Despite all the unrest in Washington, the U.S. stock market closed at record highs on Friday to end the first trading week of the year as traders weighed the prospects of new fiscal aid as well as disappointing U.S. jobs data.
The S&P 500 climbed for four days straight to a record with a +1.8% gain last week.
The Dow and the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite gained +1.6% and +2.4% in the prior week, respectively, also reaching all-time highs.
At the finishing bell, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up +56.84 points, or +0.18%, at 31,097.97.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was trading +20.89 points, or +0.55%, reaching 3,824.68, while, the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite climbed +134.50 points, or +1.03%, to 13,201.98.
Coca-Cola advanced +2.2% to lead the Dow higher, while consumer discretionary and real estate sectors each rose more than +1%, lifting the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq got a lift from Tesla, which posted a +7.84% gain.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said the jobs report shows Americans needed more immediate relief and that acting now would help the economy even with deficit financing, including the US$2,000 stimulus cheques.
More details will follow in a formal announcement on Thursday, six days before he is scheduled to take office.
The Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) in the U.S. fell by -140,000 in December, the data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Friday.
This reading followed November’s increase of 336,000 (revised from 245,000) and missed the market expectation of +71,000 by a wide margin.
Further details of the publication revealed that the Unemployment Rate stayed unchanged at 6.7% and the Average Hourly Earnings rose by 0.8% on a monthly basis, compared to the 0.2% forecast.
Political turmoil should continue this week, and it remains to be seen when or if the markets will be affected by it as the House of Representatives plans to vote this week on impeaching President Donald Trump related to his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6 storming of Capitol Hill and his efforts to overturn the Georgia election.
A Senate trial would likely take place after President Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20.
For now, the market appears to be looking past it because Congress was able to confirm Biden’s election win successfully and Democrats now in the Senate majority are likely to pursue another significant stimulus.
The Bitcoin price remains volatile after hitting an all-time high of US$41,921.7 on Monday, followed by a brief tumble.
At present, Bitcoin is still worth more than twice what it was trading for a month ago.