Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dow hits 20,000 as post-election rally resumes

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, resuming a rally that began in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise election victory.

The rally was reignited by Trump’s signing of numerous executive orders since his inauguration on Friday.

The index came within a point of the historic level on Jan. 6, as investors banked on pro-growth policies and tax cuts from the new administration.

But the venerable index had stalled recently, dropping modestly in consecutive weeks, as investors grew cautious as they looked for clarity on the administration’s new policies.

“A seminal moment. It is just a number but it is a big number, it is certainly a flashy number,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.

“There is a real belief that Trump is real, he has been extremely active these first couple of days of the presidency and a change may happen faster than people had thought.”

If the index remains above 20,000 by closing time, the 42-session surge from the first close above 19,000 would mark the second-shortest length of time between such milestones.

The 24 trading days between 10,000 and 11,000 from March 29 to May 3 of 1999 was the fastest.

The rise from 18,000 to 19,000 took the Dow 483 trading sessions.

The move since Nov. 22, when the index closed above 19,000 for the first time, has been spearheaded by financial stocks – with Goldman Sachs <GS.N> and JPMorgan <JPM.N> accounting for about 20 percent of the gain.

The two banks have benefited as investors bet that Trump’s expected fiscal stimulus will trigger inflation and stoke a rise in interest rates.

On Wednesday, Boeing <BA.N> rose 2.3 percent after its earnings and Goldman Sachs <GS.N> was up 0.7 percent, helping to push the index over the top.

At 9:33 a.m. ET (1433 GMT), the Dow <.DJI> was up 97.59 points, or 0.49 percent, at 20,010.3, the S&P 500<.SPX> was up 10.33 points, or 0.45 percent, at 2,290.4 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 38.17 points, or 0.68 percent, at 5,639.13.

The S&P and the Nasdaq also hit record intraday highs.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,883 to 736. On the Nasdaq, 1,706 issues rose and 500 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 51 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 96 new highs and five new lows.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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