• Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Wall Street at record highs as Democrats take control of Senate

(Reuters) – Wall Street hit record levels on Thursday as market participants bet on more pandemic aid under a Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress to help the economy ride out a steep downturn.

Economy-linked financials jumped 2.2% while industrial and materials sectors hovered near record highs on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden would line up a bigger fiscal package and boost infrastructure spending.

“You’re seeing a reflation trade on the assumption that a more progressive and aggressive fiscal stimulus package could be in the offing,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GlobAlt in Atlanta.

Rate-sensitive bank shares gained 3.2%, tracking a surge in the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield.

The S&P 500 technology, up 2.2%, was set to more than make up for its losses from a day earlier when shares of some of the biggest technology companies dropped on fears of increased regulation.

The NYSE FANG+TM index, which includes the core FAANG group of stocks, gained about 2%.

The Congress on Thursday certified Biden’s election victory, hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy that briefly weighed on markets.

At 10:18 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 269.28 points, or 0.88%, to 31,098.68, the S&P 500 gained 53.75 points, or 1.43%, to 3,801.89 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 261.18 points, or 2.06%, to 13,002.01.

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits unexpectedly dipped last week, while staying extremely high, a Labor Department report showed, with the job market recovery appearing to stall as COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm the country.

Investors are now awaiting a comprehensive December jobs report, which is expected on Friday.

DXC Technology jumped 10.8% as France’s IT consulting group Atos made a more than $10 billion takeover approach for its U.S. rival, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc jumped 4.2% to a record open after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its stock rating to “sector perform”.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc jumped 6%, leading gains among Dow components, after it beat analysts’ estimates for adjusted quarterly profit, driven by higher sales at its retail pharmacy stores and higher prescription volumes.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 75 new 52-week highs and no new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 352 new highs and five new lows.

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