Wall Street rose to all-time highs on Thursday as Congress confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president and as investors bet a Democrat-controlled Congress will deliver more stimulus spending to help the U.S. economy overcome a steep pandemic-induced downturn.
Wednesday’s violent confrontation at the U.S Capitol (however) did not disrupt the bullish sentiment, but instead, investors set their sights on Democrats flipping the Senate, which increases the likelihood of additional fiscal stimulus.
The bullish sentiment strengthened on Thursday after Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election and Jon Ossoff was declared the winner of a Georgia runoff election, tipping control of the Senate to Democrats.
Shortly after Congress certified his loss, President Trump issued a statement saying there will be an “orderly transition on January 20th.”
Trump still claims falsely that he won, having appeared to excuse the violent occupation of the Capitol by his supporters.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Trump’s immediate removal from office through the 25th Amendment.
President-elect Joe Biden accused Trump of fomenting violence and said Wednesday was one of the darkest days in U.S. history.
Investors anticipate the Biden administration, and a Democrat-controlled Congress will deliver more stimulus spending to help the US economy overcome a steep pandemic-induced downturn.
At the finishing bell, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced +211.73 points, or +0.69%, to 31,041.13.
At one point, the Dow was up more than +300 points.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was trading +55.65 points, or +1.48%, reaching 3,803.79, the largest one-day and percentage gain since late November 2020, a new all-time high for the broad-market index.
Meanwhile, the rich-tech Nasdaq Composite climbed +326.69 points, or +2.56%, to reach a milestone at 13,067.48, a closing high as shares of Microsoft and Alphabet both gained more than +2%, and Apple rose +3.4%.
Thursday marked the Nasdaq’s first-ever close above 13,000.
It was also the first time the Dow and S&P 500 ended a session above 31,000 and 3,800, respectively.
Meanwhile, according to news sources, Elon Musk is now the world’s richest person after reports indicated his net worth had surpassed Jeff Bezos, who had held the top spot since October 2017, when Tesla was up +4.8%.
In 2020, Tesla’s shares rose to more than +740%.
The electric-car maker’s stock rose +7.94% to US$816.04 in New York, lifting its market cap to $US773 billion ($995 billion) and making it Wall Street’s fifth-most-valuable company, just behind Google-parent Alphabet and ahead of Facebook.
Talking of Facebook, the technology giant has banned President Donald Trump from using its platform indefinitely.
“We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a statement.
Another day, another record for Bitcoin record, after the cryptocurrency topped $40,000 on Thursday before a slight pullback, sliding back below $38,500 (as of writing).
On the data front, the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits unexpectedly dipped last week, while staying elevated, a Labor Department report showed, with the job market recovery appearing to stall as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to overwhelm the country.
Initial jobless claims came in at 787,000 for the week ending Dec. 31, the Labor Department said, while the forecast was expected a print of 815,000.
Sentiment on Wall Street also got a boost after the Institute for Supply Management said its index for nonmanufacturing activity in the U.S. rose to 57.2 in December from 55.9 in November after the given forecast was expected 54.5.
After a tumultuous start to 2021, market participants are now awaiting a comprehensive December jobs report, which is expected on Friday.
The December Non-Farm Payroll is expected to show that the country added just 60K new positions in the month, although the unemployment rate is foreseen steady at 6.8%.
Average hourly earnings are expected to have grown by a modest 0.2% MoM.