US stocks open higher ahead of Biden inauguration | Business and economic news

Major U.S. stock indexes all opened on the positive side ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, driven by hopes that more generous government spending will be released under the new administration.

Major U.S. stock indices all opened higher on Wednesday ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, as investors bet more generous humanitarian aid against coronaviruses will be released under the new administration.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened more than 87 points or 0.28% at 31,018.40.

The S&P 500 – an indicator of the health of U.S. retirement and college savings accounts – jumped more than 22 points or 0.58% when the bell opened on Wall Street.

And the highly technological Nasdaq Composite Index opened more than 139 points or 1.06% to 13,336.55 to hit a new high.

President Donald Trump left the White House Wednesday morning for the last time in his term and will become the first president in more than a century and a half not to attend the inauguration of his successor.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his departure from Washington, DC, Trump praised the strength of the U.S. stock market during his tenure and his return from the lows of last year’s pandemic.

“The stock market is actually significantly higher than it was at its highest point before the pandemic,” Trump told reporters, adding, “We built it twice.”

As the stock market has rebounded from pandemic lows to new highs, the country’s economic recovery is deepening persistent racial and income inequalities and leaving millions of Americans behind.

The recovery has also started to stagnate in the last three months of 2020 as the surge in COVID-19 infections ushered in restrictions that are undermining business.

Biden inherits an unemployment rate that stood at 6.7% in December, nearly double the pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%.

The economy shed 140,000 jobs in December – slowing down seven straight months of job creation – and the weakness continued this year with nearly a million workers claiming state unemployment benefits in the week of ending January 9.

But U.S. economists and stock investors see better days ahead, as investors bet more federal spending on virus aid and green infrastructure is in the cards.

Last week, Biden unveiled a proposal for a massive new $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package to speed up the nationwide vaccination campaign and give more financial assistance to households, small businesses and communities. struggling who have borne the brunt of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The measures include an additional $ 1,400 direct cash transfer to eligible Americans – on top of the $ 600 stimulus checks included in December’s $ 900 billion round of virus aid – and the increase in the weekly top-up. federal to state unemployment benefits of $ 300 to $ 400.

Democrats now control both houses of Congress – which ultimately controls the nation’s tax and spending policies – but many Wall Street analysts expect horse trading with Republicans to shrink in size and size. scope of the stimulus proposed by Biden.

A glimpse of the upcoming spending battles emerged Tuesday during the Senate confirmation hearing for Biden’s candidate for US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

During the hearing, Republican senators expressed concerns about increasing government deficits to fund virus control measures.

Yellen, for his part, urged Congress not to dwell on the more stimulus bill and instead “act big”, warning that “without further action we risk a longer and more painful recession now. , and long-term scars from the economy later. . “

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