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Markets

Wednesday’s early trade: S&P, Nasdaq scale record highs

NEW YORK”: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit all-time highs on Wednesday as Joe Biden prepared to take charge as...
21 Jan 2021

NEW YORK”: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit all-time highs on Wednesday as Joe Biden prepared to take charge as US President, while Netflix shares surged after saying it will no longer need to borrow billions of dollars to finance its TV shows and movies.

Shares of the world’s largest streaming service surged 14% to add more than $30 billion to its market capitalization, helping boost the broader tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index.

Biden, due to take over as the 46th president of the United States just after noon (1700 GMT) on Wednesday, will waste little time turning the page on the Trump era, advisers said, signing a raft of 15 executive actions on issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy to climate change.

“It’s all about the inauguration, focusing first on Biden being placed into the office and then it’s going to be about earnings,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The Dow has gained about 57% in the four years since Donald Trump assumed office on Jan. 20, 2017, which compares with a 72% jump in the first term of the Obama administration.

S&P 500 company earnings are expected to rise by 24% in 2021 after falling 15% in 2020, according to Refinitiv data. With stock market valuations sitting close to a 20-year high, investors are hoping corporate results and profit outlooks will help them determine to what degree the valuations are justified.

At 10:12 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 164.52 points, or 0.53%, to 31,095.56, the S&P 500 gained 36.94 points, or 0.97%, to 3,835.85 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 219.91 points, or 1.68%, to 13,418.23.