Stocks hit record highs on Inauguration Day; Netflix soars 16%

A sign for Wall Street hangs outside at the New York Stock Exchange on April 20. Stocks were down Friday morning ahead of President Donald Trump's news conference on China. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Jan. 20 (UPI) — The three major U.S. indexes climbed to record highs Wednesday as President Joe Biden was sworn into office and Netflix reported strong earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 257.86, or 0.83%, to rise to a new record high of 31,188.38, while the S&P 500 gained 1.45% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.97% both also reaching record highs.

Markets reacted to Biden being sworn in as president as he has promised a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, $1,400 payments to Americans, and his incoming Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged lawmakers to “act big” on further relief spending.

“If stimulus happens at the same time that people get vaccinated, the optimism can’t help but build,” Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager for GLOBALT Investments, told Bloomberg. “It’s a fairly safe bet there will be another stimulus package with more direct payments to consumers and individuals and more help for small businesses.”

While Trump touted record market performances in his farewell address on Tuesday, the Dow rose 56% during his presidency, falling short of the 71.7% gain in Barack Obama’s first term and the 111% rise under Bill Clinton.

Netflix stock led the tech-heavy Nasdaq’s big day, rising 16.85% after the company reported 8.4 million global paid net subscriber additions, surpassing analysts’ predictions of 6.47 million.

Other top stock gains Wednesday afternoon included Utz Brands, Teladoc Health, Collectors Universe and Polaris.

Markets also continued to react to fourth quarter earnings reports as Morgan Stanley stock dropped 0.24% after reporting earnings that exceeded expectations and Proctor & Gamble stock dropped 1.28% after raising its fiscal 2021 forecast while reporting that increased demand for cleaning products due to the pandemic raised revenue.

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