Dow Closes Above 30,000 Tuesday 11/24 15:52
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 points for the first
time Tuesday as progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines and news
that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will
finally begin kept investors in a buying mood.
(AP) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 points for the
first time Tuesday as progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines and
news that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will
finally begin kept investors in a buying mood.
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 more than 450 points, or 1.5%, to cross the milestone. The S&P 500 index,
which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts than the Dow, rose 1.6%,
climbing to its own all-time high.
The gains extend a monthlong market rally driven by growing optimism that
development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments will loosen the pandemic's
stranglehold on the economy. They also mark a rapid climb for the Dow from its
March 23 low of just under 18,600 during the worst of its early pandemic
"We are one step closer to moving past the election uncertainty," said
Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest. "People are still
optimistic about what 2021 has to bring, from an economic perspective and an
The S&P 500 rose 57.82 points to 3,635.41. The Dow gained 454.97 points to
30,046.24. Both indexes eclipsed record highs set early last week. The
technology-heavy Nasdaq composite picked up 156.15 points, or 1.3%, to
Traders continued to favor stocks that stand to gain the most from a gradual
reopening of the economy, such as banks and industrial companies. Technology
and communication stocks, which have been investor favorites through the
pandemic, also helped lift the market.
In another signal that investors were feeling confident, the Russell 2000
index of smaller stocks outpaced the broader market, picking up 35.23 points,
or 1.9%, to 1,853.53, also a record high.
"There's some relief that Biden is choosing moderates to fill out the
cabinet," said Barry Bannister, head of institutional equity strategy at
Stifel. Bannister also said the encouraging vaccine news continues to give hope
that there is an end in sight to the pandemic.
On Monday, the head of the federal General Services Administration
acknowledged that Biden is the apparent winner of this month's presidential
election. That allows the incoming president to coordinate with federal
agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20, despite ongoing efforts by
President Donald Trump to overturn the election.
Word that Biden has chosen Yellen as treasury secretary also added to
investors' confidence. Widely admired in the financial world, Yellen would be
the first woman to lead the department in a line stretching back to Alexander
Hamilton in 1789, taking on a pivotal role to help shape policies at a perilous
"She's also pretty pro-fiscal stimulus and she's able to effectively work
with people across the aisle," Bell said. "She showed that in her time at the
Stocks have been pushing higher this month, driving the S&P 500 up by more
than 11%, as investors have grown more hopeful that the development of
coronavirus vaccines and treatments will help pave the way for the economy to
recover next year.
On Monday, drugmaker AstraZeneca reported surprisingly good results from
ongoing vaccine studies. It said its potential vaccine, which is being
developed with Oxford University, was up to 90% effective. Unlike rival
candidates, AstraZeneca's doesn't have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures,
making it easier to distribute.
Last week, Pfizer and Moderna both reported study results showing their
vaccines were almost 95% effective. And, over the weekend, Regeneron
Pharmaceuticals received U.S. government approval for emergency use of its
COVID-19 treatment. The drug, which Trump received when he was sickened last
month, is meant to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from
developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.
The vaccine developments are tempering lingering concerns over rising virus
cases in the U.S., as well as in Asia and other parts of the world, and new
government restrictions on businesses aimed at limiting the spread.
Treasury yields rose as investors became more optimistic about the prospects
for economic growth. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to
0.88% from 0.84% late Monday.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will
be open for half the day on Friday, closing at 1 p.m. Eastern.
European markets ended broadly higher, while Asian markets closed mixed.