Dow Jones hits 30,000 all-time high

Business

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through 30,000 points Tuesday as investors were encouraged by the latest progress on developing coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin.

Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. The Dow rose 454 points, or 1.5%, to close at 30,046. The S&P 500 index, which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts than the Dow does, rose 1.6%. Treasury yields rose as investors became more optimistic about the economy.

Economically-sensitive industrial stocks surged to a record high, while the financials and energy indexes jumped 3.3% and 4.8%, respectively.

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc rose 4%, crossing $500 billion in market capitalization as investors lapped up its shares in the run-up to its addition to the S&P 500 index.

“Investors are getting optimistic about the coming six months,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management in New York.

“There has been a lot of positive vaccine news recently and with the announcement that the transition of the Biden administration is kicking off, it just makes a lot of uncertainties of the future disappear,” Zigmont said.

The U.S. General Services Administration and President Donald Trump’s administration signed off on the official presidential transition process on Monday.

Global stock markets sank in February and March as the novel coronavirus spread across Europe and the United States, abruptly halting a bull run that dates back to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

While U.S. economic activity is reeling from the damage inflicted by lockdowns and employment is at levels last seen in 2015, a raft of monetary and fiscal stimulus has powered Wall Street’s main indexes back to record highs.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq is trading just around 12,000 points after crossing 10,000 for the first time in June, while the S&P 500 has soared 65% since crashing to a more-than-three-year low in March.

For the blue-chip Dow, the journey to 30,000 from the 20,000-mark took less than four years, a much faster climb than the previous 10,000-point clamber, which took nearly two decades. The rise from 29,000 to 30,000 took the Dow about 10 months.

The S&P value index has gained about 15% so far in November compared with an 11% rise in the S&P 500. By contrast, the growth index, comprising the technology mega-caps that were seen as safe during the recession, is up less than 9%.

Sentiment this week was also boosted by reports that Biden planned to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, which could shift the focus heavily toward efforts to tackle growing economic inequality.

By 12:01 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.69% at 30,092.53. The S&P 500 was up 1.57% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.99%.

Boeing Co jumped 4.2% after European regulators gave draft approval to its 737 MAX jets, paving the way for a formal flight clearance in January.

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, on Monday upgraded U.S. equities to “overweight”, turning bullish on quality large-cap technology companies and small cap firms that tend to perform well during a cyclical upswing.

President Donald Trump appeared to take credit for the historic high, congratulating his administration during a news conference Tuesday.

“We’ve never broken 30,000, and that’s despite everything that’s taken place with the pandemic,” Trump said. “I’m very thrilled about what’s happened on the vaccine front. That’s been absolutely incredible.”

The president added, “I just wanted to congratulate everyone within the administration that worked so hard. And most importantly, I want to thank the people of our country because there are no people like you.”

With coronavirus cases rising by the day and millions of Americans still unemployed, some traders suggested the U.S. stock market could see a sharp pullback in the next few weeks.

“We are positioning for a 20% stock market pullback between now and the 2021 presidential inauguration,” said James McDonald, chief executive officer of Hercules Investments in Los Angeles.

“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,” McDonald said.

Reporting by Reuters’ Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shivani Kumaresan.

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