Monday, 25 January, 2021

Dow, Nasdaq hit record highs as focus turns to Biden's stimulus plan

Wall St edges higher with eyes on earnings season GM soars Amid dismal data, Dow, Nasdaq hit record highs as focus turns to Biden's stimulus plan
Ginger Lawrence | 14 January, 2021, 22:24

In point of fact, in context of a calamitous political outlook in Washington with FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) reporting threats of further violence from pro-Trump extremist Republicans ahead of a January 20 inauguration of the President-elect Joe Biden, investors turned a deaf ear to more risk-sensitive stocks which in effect had led to a fecund feathering of rate-sensitive defensive stocks.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased to 795,000 last week from 787,000, the Labor Department's report is expected to show, which could underscore the impact of resurgent Covid-19 infections on the job market.

USA stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday with defensive sectors leading gains as investors waited for details of the next USA fiscal stimulus plan and Congress began President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings.

"Everybody's waiting to hear the details".

"For a while investors have been looking forward to what the picture might be like once the vaccine is fully distributed and the worst parts of the pandemic over", said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors rose with economically-sensitive energy showing the biggest percentage gains.

By 2.29pm ET (1929 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 72.19 points, or 0.23%, to 31,140.88, the S&P 500 gained 18.68 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 3,819.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 93.67 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 13,166.11.

The S&P 1500 airlines index added 4%.

Murray's Australian Open in doubt after positive virus test
The Australian Open was delayed three weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions and is set to begin February 8. These are the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne, the View on St Kilda Road, and the Pullman hotel in Albert Park.

The domestically-focused small-cap Russell 2000, as well as the Dow Jones Transports index, considered a barometer of economic health, both scaled all-time highs.

Notably, followed by Wednesday's impeachment hearings, Trump became the first U.S. president ever who had been subject to impeachment hearings twice in a single term. The impeachment proceedings threaten to hang over the beginning of Biden's term.

"I don't think the delay (in fiscal aid) of a few weeks due to impeachment trial is necessarily going to derail the further economic boost that we're going to get from the stimulus", he said.

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc jumped 7% to touch a record high after it expanded its electric vehicle and hybrid ride option to over 1,400 new cities in North America.

US-listed shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd rose 3.1% after it posted its best-ever quarterly profit and hiked revenue and capital spending estimates to record levels, as it forecast "multiple years of growth opportunities".

Earnings reports from big USA banks including JPMorgan and Citigroup were also on investors' minds as they will mark the unofficial start to the fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday.

First-quarter and 2021 corporate guidance will be key for investors as new lockdowns threaten to push back a recovery in corporate earnings, according to investment banks. The S&P 500 rose 5.1 points, or 0.13%, at the open to 3,814.98, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 45.8 points, or 0.35%, to 13,174.75 at the opening bell.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.8-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.