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Dow hits 30,000 as Biden begins White House transition

The Dow soared above 30,000 points for the first time on Tuesday, November 24, as Wall Street powered to fresh records, fueled by ebbing United States political uncertainty that offset worries about spiking coronavirus cases.

After crossing the threshold in midday trading, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fluctuated a bit, but ended at 30,046.24, up 1.5%.

The S&P 500 also closed at a record, while European and Asian equities mostly advanced, along with oil prices.

"Signs of movement in the US political deadlock have combined with the steady drip of vaccine news to underpin" stocks, commented Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG trading group.

Investors now feel more reassured that the United States can avoid a constitutional crisis over the transition of power following elections earlier this month in which Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.

Trump still has not conceded his election defeat, but on Monday night, November 23, his administration officially authorized a transition, clearing the way for Biden to have access to funds, office space, and the ability to meet with federal officials.

Investors have already been cheered by an upbeat coronavirus vaccine announcement by British drugs group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford as well as news that Biden will tap former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

Yellen "is a known and respected face on the international scene," said a note from High Frequency Economics, adding that the former Fed chair is not known as a hardline critic of Wall Street.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare recognized the latest Washington developments as "another excuse" for the market to rally in a holiday-shortened week when positive momentum is driving a "fear of missing out" trend.

"What's prevailing in the stock market right now...is a belief that only good outcomes will prevail, whether we are talking about leadership transitions, the coronavirus, the economy, earnings, interest rates, inflation, and the performance of the stock market itself," O'Hare said.

But new US coronavirus cases remained well above 100,000 a day, raising worries about a coming hit to the economy.

The Conference Board, a New York-based business research organization, reported consumer confidence fell slightly more than expected in November to 96.1 from its upwardly revised 101.4 in October, driven mostly by worsening forecasts for the months ahead.

Oil prices reached their highest levels since the first wave of the pandemic hit, rallying on hopes new vaccines will pave the way to an economic rebound.

Key figures around 10:10 pm GMT
  • New York - Dow: UP 1.5% at 30,042.71 (close)
  • New York - S&P 500: UP 1.5% at 3,632.31 (close)
  • New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.2% at 12,022.31 (close)
  • London - FTSE 100: UP 1.6% at 6,432.17 (close)
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.3% at 13,292.44 (close)
  • Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.2% at 5,558.42 (close)
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.3% at 3,507.98 (close)
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.5% at 26,165.59 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.4% at 26,588.20 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.3% at 3,402.82 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1892 from $1.1841 at 10 pm GMT
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3358 from $1.3321
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 104.43 yen from 104.52 yen
  • Euro/pound: UP at 89.01 pence from 88.89 pence
  • West Texas Intermediate: UP 4.3% at $44.91 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.9% at $47.86 per barrel

– Rappler.com