US stocks closed at record highs Wednesday as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president — with the new commander-in-chief setting a record for stock gains between his election and his inauguration.
The benchmark S&P 500 index rallied 1.4 percent to a record close of 3,851.85, finishing 14 percent higher on Inauguration Day than it was on Election Day. That streak broke a record set by President Hoover in 1928 when the S&P rallied 13.3 percent during the same interval, according to MarketWatch.
Biden will waste little time turning the page on the Trump era, aides said, signing 15 executive actions in the afternoon on issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy to climate. He’s also set to push a $1.9 trillion coronavirus-relief package through a Democrat-controlled Congress.
“I’m not sure that the politics of Inauguration Day did much but certainly the expectation for a trillion-plus in stimulus,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
On Wednesday, the Dow soared 257.86 points, or 0.8 percent, to a new record high of 31,188.38. The tech-heavy Nasdaq set its own record, climbing roughly 2 percent to 13,457.25 as shares of Netflix surged 17 percent after it said it would no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movie.
Nearly all of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in afternoon trading, with communication services, consumer discretionary and technology among the biggest gainers.
Wrapping up results from major US lenders, Morgan Stanley slipped despite posting quarterly profit that blew past estimates driven by strength in its trading business.
“This is the best inauguration day return since Reagan’s second-term,” said Ryan Detrick, Chief Market Strategist for LPL Financial. “Of course, no one knows where we go from here, but with record monetary and fiscal stimulus, coupled with a huge re-opening later this year, a continuation of this bull market could be in the cards.”
The Dow has gained about 57 percent and the S&P 500 advanced about 68 percent since Donald Trump assumed office on Jan. 20, 2017, which compares with a 65 percent jump in the Dow and 75 percent gain in the S&P during the first term of the Obama administration.