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Stocks rally to record highs, Nasdaq closes above 13,000 for first time

Shares hit all-time highs on Thursday as Congress confirmed the election of Joe Biden as president and traders looked past the unrest in Washington.

the Nasdaq Compound jumped 2.6% to 13,067.48, with Microsoft and Alphabet shares both up more than 2% and Apple 3.4%. the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 211.73 points, or 0.7%, to 31,041.13. At one point, the Dow was up over 300 points. the S&P500 climbed 1.5% to 3,803.79.

Thursday marked the Nasdaq’s first-ever close above 13,000. It was also the first time the Dow Jones and S&P 500 ended a session above 31,000 and 3,800, respectively.

Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 5.2% to lead the Dow Jones higher on stronger than expected quarterly results. JPMorgan Chase shares rose 3.3% after the banking giant was upgraded to buy from breakeven by a Bank of America analyst. The technology and consumer discretionary sectors rose 2.7% and 1.8%, respectively, to lift the S&P 500.

Wednesday, Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol just as lawmakers began proceedings electoral college vote counting process and officially declaring Biden the winner. Still, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed higher on Wednesday as traders looked past the event amid growing prospects for fiscal stimulus.

“There should be no mystery as to why the markets didn’t care about what happened in the capital. [on Wednesday], as disturbing, shameful and embarrassing as it is, said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “That’s because it has no bearing on the direction of the economy, earnings and interest rates. It’s so easy.”

Congress reconvened to continue process of confirming Biden’s victory late Wednesday evening after the Capitol building was secured. The assertion came early Thursday morning, with both the House of Representatives and the Senate rejecting efforts to oppose the acceptance of Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

President Donald Trump said in a press release after Congress confirmed Biden that “there will be an orderly transition on January 20.”

“I think the reason the markets aren’t too perplexed is that it won’t change the transition of power,” said Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Traders continued to focus on the possibility of additional fiscal support after the Democratic Party won a narrow majority in the Senate, giving it control of both houses of Congress.

NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon that Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue in one of two Georgia elections. Earlier in the day, NBC projected Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in their Georgia runoff.

The Georgia election results create a 50-50 Senate that the Democrats will control, due to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ decisive vote. A Democrat-held Senate is widely expected to push for a more robust stimulus package, the speculation that boosted stocks on Wednesday, especially stocks hardest hit during the Covid recession.

JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said the election results give investors “more clarity” by “solidifying Democratic control in Washington and raising expectations for further stimulus to come.”

“With political tensions easing, more stimulus expected to help stimulate the economy, and coronavirus vaccines helping to calm investors and traders, it looks like the market can now focus on earnings season. “, did he declare.

On the data side, initial jobless claims were 787,000 for the week ending Dec. 31, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a drawdown of 815,000.

Sentiment on Wall Street was also boosted after the Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity in the United States rose to 57.2 in December compared to 55.9 in November. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecast a print of 54.5.

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