Dow surges above 30,000 for the first time as investors cheer transition to Biden administration
- US equities gained on Tuesday as the General Services Administration's ascertainment of President-elect Joe Biden's victory lifted investor sentiments.
- The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 30,000 for the first time, marking a rapid comeback after the index sank as low as 18,213 in March.
- The GSA announced on Monday that it would provide the "resources and services" needed to start Biden's transition to the White House. It's the clearest sign yet that the Trump campaign accepted its loss in the 2020 race.
- Bitcoin surged above $19,000 for the first time since 2017 and closed in on its all-time high of roughly $19,700.
- Oil futures erased most of their pandemic-induced losses and hit their highest levels since March. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 5%, to $45.20 per barrel.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
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US stocks jumped on Tuesday as the start of the transition to a Biden administration spurred another rotation to cyclical stocks.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose above 30,000 for the first time ever. Boeing led the benchmark index higher, followed by Chevron and JPMorgan. The new record caps a breakneck rebound from the start of the pandemic, when overwhelming bearishness dragged the index as low as 18,213 in March.
Here's where US indexes at 11:40 a.m. ET on Tuesday:
- S&P 500: 3,629.85, up 1.5%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 30,026.10, up 1.5% (437 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 12,002.17, up 1%
The General Services Administration's administrator said Monday the agency will provide the "resources and services" necessary to begin President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House. The ascertainment came more than two weeks after major news outlets called the election for Biden.
The typically controversy-free process has been delayed largely by President Donald Trump's legal challenges to the election's outcome. The move is the closest the Trump campaign has come to conceding defeat, and it diminishes political uncertainties lingering from Election Day. Still, Trump indicated in a tweet on Monday that his legal fights would continue.
Value and cyclical stocks outperformed as investors boosted bets on sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Tech giants lagged behind the upswing and led the
Tuesday's gains followed a similarly fruitful session to start the week. Stocks climbed on Monday following reports that Biden would pick former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his treasury secretary. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to hold the position.
Earlier in the day, a positive update from trials of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine bolstered investor sentiments.
"Signs of movement in the US political deadlock have combined with the steady drip of vaccine news to underpin a market that has yet to breach the highs seen earlier in the month," said Chris Beauchamp, the chief market analyst at IG, adding that the news built encouraging momentum for stocks to climb further through December.
Bitcoin ripped above $19,000 for the first time since 2017, bringing the token just below its all-time high of roughly $19,700. The world's most popular cryptocurrency has rallied as Wall Street and Main Street expressed new interest in digital tokens and their use cases. The rally also lifted peer cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Ripple.
The shift away from safe-haven and hedging assets dragged gold prices to their lowest since July. The precious metal fell as much as 2%, to $1,800.47 per ounce, at intraday lows.
The US dollar weakened against a basket of group-of-10 peers as Yellen's appointment spurred hopes for fiscal stimulus. Treasury yields wavered.
Oil futures hit their highest levels since March on lasting vaccine optimism. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 5%, to $45.20 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, gained 4.3%, to $48.03 per barrel, at intraday highs.
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