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Wall Street closes at record high after Biden takes office

Wall Street closes at record high after Biden takes office

Traders watch as the presidential inaugural plays on a screen, in a booth on the trading floor, on Jan 20, 2021. (Photo: New York Stock Exchange via AP/Colin Ziemer)

New York: Wall Street greeted new US President Joe Biden by climbing even higher on Wednesday (Jan 20), closing at records amid promises of big economic stimulus and relief that the inauguration was uneventful.

All three major indices ended at all-time highs after Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States in a peaceful ceremony just two weeks after supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the November election.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led the charge, jumping 2 per cent to end the day at 13,457.25, fuelled in part by a huge gain in Netflix shares following a strong earnings report.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 per cent to close at 31,188.38, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 1.4 per cent to 3,851.85.

READ: Joe Biden sworn in as 46th President of the United States

READ: 'Democracy has prevailed': Biden in first speech as US president

Biden and his team have championed an aggressive economic relief package, winning kudos from investors eager to see the US economy rebound.

"In general, this is a market that's growing optimistic that increased fiscal spending will boost the economy and lead to earnings growth," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities.

Investors were among those sighing in relief that worries over fresh civil unrest did not come to pass, as the transition of power took place in the nation's capital that looked more like a military stronghold.

"We all hoped for a peaceful transition of power and we got it," Hogan said.

Among individual companies, Netflix shot up 16.9 per cent after it reported better-than-expected subscriber growth in the past quarter.

The streaming entertainment leader added about 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 million despite recent price hikes, its quarterly earning update showed.

Other large technology companies also had a winning session, with Apple ending up 3.3 per cent, Amazon up 4.6 per cent, Google-parent Alphabet hitting a record high after gaining 5.6 per cent and Facebook rising 2.4 per cent.

Source: AFP

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