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Stocks Close at Records, Tech Soars as Biden's Win Is Certified

Stocks set closing and intraday records as investors believe Democratic Party control of both houses of Congress will lead to further fiscal stimulus.

Stocks on Thursday closed at records as investors believe Democratic control of both houses of Congress will lead to further fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending to revive a U.S. economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 211 points, or 0.69%, to 31,041, the S&P 500 gained 1.48% to 3,803 and the Nasdaq jumped 2.56% to 13,067.

The Dow finished over 31,000 for the first time, while the Nasdaq crossed 13,000 for the first time. 

Each of the benchmark indexes set record intraday highs as tech stocks and retail shares were the leading gainers. 

Democrats gained control of the Senate following two key victories Wednesday in runoff senatorial elections in Georgia. 

Joe Biden was recognized by Congress as the next U.S. president. The certification of Biden's victory in the November presidential election was delayed for several hours until early Thursday after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol. The building was put lockdown and the Electoral College vote count was paused as lawmakers fled for their safety. 

Trump, who was blamed by many for inflammatory messages that incited some of the worst political violence in American history, issued a statement that promised an "orderly transition" on Jan. 20. He continued, however, to repeat false allegations of a disputed November election.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report extended gains for a 10th session after analysts at RBC Capital said they "got it completely wrong" on prior calls for the electric-vehicle company's stock.

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Equities traded higher even as the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits remained elevated. Jobless claims in the week ended Jan. 2, fell 3,000 to 787,000.

Stocks closed higher Wednesday and the Dow finished at a record even as the U.S. Capitol was locked down after supporters of Trump stormed past barricades and breached the building.

"Some were surprised by the stark contrast between calm markets and chaos in DC, but that’s because investors likely understood that the amateur siege on the Capitol was never going to amount to a successful coup," said Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation at Pacific Life Fund Advisors. 

"Subsequently, seeing strong repudiation of the protesters by Republican leadership including the vice president led to markets feeling more ebullient because it implies that, paradoxically, (Wednesday's) events may serve to bring the two parties closer together and help push forward the moderate and stimulative policies of President-elect Biden, like an infrastructure bill," Gokhman added.

Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who is to become Senate majority leader, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday urged that Trump be removed from office following his encouragement of the crowd that invaded the Capitol.

Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Twitter Inc. Report shares finished 1.8% lower Thursday after the platform locked the account of President Trump and threatened to permanently ban him. 

The move followed a series of tweets that some have alleged incited the violent storming of the Capitol building by his supporters. 

Trump will regain his Twitter privileges Thursday but Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report said he would be restricted from posting for at least the remainder of his term. Facebook shares finished the day up 2.1%.