US Stocks Close at New All-Time Highs on Biden Inauguration Day | Business and Economy News


The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite Index all posted record closes as Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States.

Major U.S. stock indexes closed at new all-time highs on Wednesday as Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, fueling investor bets that more generous coronavirus relief aid will be triggered under his new administration.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 257 points or 0.83% to close at 31,188.38.

The S&P 500 – an indicator of the health of retirement and education savings accounts in the United States – closed more than 52 points or 1.39% at 3,851.85.

And the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session with more than 260 points, or 1.97% higher, for a record 13,457,248.

Outgoing President Donald Trump left the White House Wednesday morning for the last time in his term and has become the first president in more than a century and a half not to attend his successor’s inauguration.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his departure from Washington, DC, Trump touted the strength of the U.S. stock market during his tenure and its return from pandemic lows of last year.

“The stock market is actually significantly higher than it was at its highest point before the pandemic,” Trump told reporters, adding, “We built it twice.”

As the stock market rebounded from pandemic lows to new highs, the country’s economic recovery is deepening long-standing racial and income inequalities and leaving millions of Americans behind.

The recovery also began to slow in the last three months of 2020, as the surge in COVID-19 infections ushered in business-sapping restrictions.

Biden inherits an unemployment rate that stood at 6.7% in December, nearly double the pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%.

The economy shed 140,000 jobs in December – slowing down seven straight months of job creation – and weakness continued this year with nearly a million workers claiming unemployment benefits from states over the course of the year. week ending January 9.

But U.S. economists and stock investors see better days ahead, as investors bet more federal spending on virus aid and green infrastructure is in the cards.

Last week, Biden unveiled a proposal for a massive new $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package to speed up the nationwide vaccination campaign and give more financial assistance to households, small businesses and communities. struggling who suffered most of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The measures include providing an additional $ 1,400 direct cash transfer to eligible Americans – in addition to the $ 600 stimulus checks included in December’s $ 900 billion virus aid package – and increasing the federal weekly supplement to state unemployment benefits from $ 300 to $ 400.

Democrats now control both houses of Congress – which ultimately control the nation’s tax and spending policies – but many Wall Street analysts expect bargaining with Republicans to reduce the size and scope of the government. stimulus plan proposed by Biden.

A glimpse of the spending battles that lie ahead emerged on Tuesday during the Senate confirmation hearing for Biden’s candidate for US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

During the hearing, Republican senators expressed their concerns about the increase in public deficits to finance measures to fight against viruses.

Yellen, for his part, urged Congress not to dwell on the more stimulus bill and to “act big”, warning that “without further action we risk a longer and more painful recession now, and long-term scars from the economy later. “

Among the actions that make the headlines:

Shares of streaming giant Netflix jumped more than 16.8% after the company added more subscribers than expected and said it no longer needed to borrow money to finance its growth.

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