The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which came close to the 30,000-point mark in January before COVID-19 ravaged most of the world, has surpassed the number today amid optimism for Joe Biden’s presidency.
The barrier was broken about an hour into the trading day. Just after noon ET, the Dow was up nearly 500 points at around 30,100. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were also solidly into positive territory, each up more than 1%.
It isn’t that investors have a clear preference for Biden, but they dislike uncertainty. Some of the dust kicked up by President Donald Trump, who has still not conceded he lost the November 3 election, finally began to settle Monday when administration officials allowed for transition activities to proceed. Biden will be eligible to start receiving official briefings, as is customary for the president-elect heading into January’s inauguration.
Investors also cheered reports that Biden is leaning toward choosing Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, as his treasury secretary. While anyone in the job will face a daunting task to try to help pull the country out of its current mess, Yellen won high marks on Wall Street for favoring low interest rates and presiding over a period of economic expansion. She also has spoken out in favor of extending pandemic relief for unemployed workers.
It is a remarkable rebound for the Dow, which reached a low of 18,213.65 in mid-March when the U.S. started feeling the full force of the pandemic. Initially, the tech-heavy Nasdaq showed the most resilience among the major stock indices, rising as companies like Amazon and Netflix demonstrated they could gain from the country being on lockdown.