Stocks Hit Record High As Biden, Vaccine Lift Global Prospects

Daniel Fowler
November 26, 2020

The Dow appeared set to edge back from its record high on the open, with futures down 0.3%, while S&P 500 futures were 0.2% lower.

President Donald Trump made a suprise appearance in the White House briefing room to hail today's historic stock market rally.

Still, the vaccine developments and removal of uncertainties surrounding the US presidential election have driven Wall Street indexes to record closing highs, and put the S&P 500 on course for its best November ever.

The S&P 500 index closed lower on Wednesday as mounting USA layoffs in the wake of new mandated lockdowns to contain surging COVID-19 infections dampened investor risk appetite.

Traders were also encouraged by news that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared above 30,000 for the first time in history on Tuesday, a rally that CNBC attributed to "positive vaccine news, hope for a strong economic recovery in 2021 and easing of political uncertainty as the Trump administration approved the start of the presidential transition".

But the bullish sentiment comes despite USA coronavirus cases surging and millions of Americans still unemployed, and some analysts fear shares are due a reality check.

Market participants believe USA stocks have more room to climb.

Ghislaine Maxwell quarantined after jail staff member tests positive for COVID-19
Maxwell's lawyers have argued that Maxwell has never been diagnosed as suicidal and the current conditions treat her unfairly. But she will be able to continue to review trial materials 13 hours a day, more than any other inmate, prosecutors wrote.

The United States has reported more than 12.7 million COVID-19 cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 261,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.91%, while the MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.44%, putting it on track to close at a record high.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.03-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

Trading volumes are expected to be light in advance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.07% versus the greenback at 104.62 per dollar, while Britain's pound was last trading at $1.3338, up 0.11% on the day.

USA markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

USA official data showed that durable goods orders (preliminary reading) increased 1.3% on month in October (+0.8% expected).

Oil prices were lifted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration report that crude-oil stockpiles fell 754,000 barrels last week (+225,000 barrels expected). USA bonds and stocks will trade on a partial schedule on Friday. The gold price, a favoured asset when investors are fearful, fell 1.6% to $1,806 an ounce.

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