Stocks touch record high as investors cheer Biden transition, vaccines

Andrew Cummings
November 26, 2020

ASX futures were up 36 points (+0.5pc) by 6:45am AEDT.

President Donald Trump outs Dow hitting 30K, congratulates administration staffers at a press conference.

Analysts say markets have also been boosted by news this week that the transition of power in the United States to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin, as well as his selection of former Fed chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

The economically sensitive banking sector lost ground, with the S&P 500 Banks index shedding 1.1%.

Reports that Biden planned to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary - a move that could shift the focus heavily toward efforts to tackle growing economic inequality - also cheered markets.

The S&P 500 is up 404.63 points, or 12.5%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 173.77 points, or 0.6%, to 29,872.47.

But the bullish sentiment comes despite U.S. coronavirus cases surging and millions of Americans still unemployed, and some analysts fear shares are due a reality check.

"We wouldn't be putting new money to work in stocks with the Dow at 30,000 because of rising COVID-19 cases.and the likelihood of insufficient fiscal stimulus from Congress".

The Nasdaq is up 181.82 points, or 1.5%.

The Commerce Department said U.S.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 120 new highs and eight new lows.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.91%, while the MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.44%, putting it on track to close at a record high. USA bonds and stocks will trade on a partial schedule on Friday.

Trading volumes are expected to be light in advance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar inched up to ¥104.50 from ¥104.30.

US official data showed that durable goods orders (preliminary reading) increased 1.3% on month in October (+0.8% expected).

USA financial markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Encouraging study results this month from drugmakers working on coronavirus vaccines and treatments have tempered lingering concerns over rising virus cases in the USA, as well as in Asia and other parts of the world, and new government restrictions on businesses aimed at limiting the spread.

Spot gold dropped 1.8% to $1,803.26 an ounce.

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