Wall Street welcomes new U.S. president with new hikes

Andrew Cummings
January 21, 2021

Felsman said tech stocks in Asia may also rise in response to positive news from Netflix Inc, whose shares surged 16.85% after the company said it would no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.

US stocks rallied to new records on Wednesday, with President Joe Biden setting a new record for gains in the S&P 500 between Election Day and Inauguration Day.

The rest of the FAANG group, due to report results in the coming weeks, jumped with Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet rising between 2 and 5 percent.

"The market is up more than 13% since Election Day", Stovall said, noting that since World War II, the S&P 500 has risen an average of 3.5% in the first 100 days of a Democratic president's administration, versus an average gain of 0.5% when a Republican was in the White House.

Investors were relieved the new president took office safely after outgoing president Donald Trump's supporters attacked the US Capitol earlier this month, and are now closely watching what Congress does with Biden's US$1.9 trillion economic recovery plan.

Shortly after he reached the White House, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, among them actions to get control of the pandemic including a mask mandate, and to help buoy the economy, including extending a mortgage foreclosure moratorium and a pause on student debt repayments.

Almost all of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in afternoon trading, with communication services, consumer discretionary and technology among the biggest gainers.

Since the USA presidential election last November, businessman Dow Jones has risen 17%.

Morgan Stanley gained 1.9 per cent as it reported a 27 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profits to US$3.3 billion (RM13.4 billion) following a strong performance by its trading division.

"That means that this market should be way, way, way higher as a whole and we're going to get there". The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.83%, the S&P 500 gained 1.39% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.97%.

Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time as it benefited from sustained coronavirus-driven demand for cleaning products. Its shares, however, slipped about 1.4% after it warned that the pace of sales might slow as vaccines roll out.

UnitedHealth Group Inc dipped 0.69% after the health insurer's quarterly profit slumped almost 38%, weighed down by costs related to its programs to make COVID-19 testing and treatment more accessible for its customers.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.02-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.24-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 145.4 points, or 1.10%, to an all-time high of 13342.548 at the opening bell.

Its session peak was 13,486.

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