Optimism over the imminent deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine propelled the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 30,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday, extending a breathtaking rally that’s carried stocks deep into a bull market.
Encouraging developments in the fight against the coronavirus have sent markets on a tear, even as the coronavirus crisis deepens around the world. The Russell 2000 (RUT) index also set a new peak, and the Dow is up over 13% in November — more than 10,000 points higher than the multi-year low it breached in March, when panic over the virus’ spread cratered global markets.
The technology-heavy Nasdaq, which have been beaten down as investors rotate out of “stay at home” stalwarts benefiting from coronavirus-related lockdowns, also posted strong gains. In early dealings, Tesla (TSLA) hit a new record high, and now has a market capitalization north of $500 billion — even before it joins the S&P 500.
Investors also cheered news that President-elect Joe Biden was poised to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen — who is well regarded by Wall Street — as Treasury Secretary. Markets were also ticked higher on news that the Trump administration would formally begin the transition process, in spite of President Donald Trump’s faltering effort to challenge the vote in key swing states.
“We believe that the recent reduction in political uncertainty in the U.S., though far from complete, is another supportive factor behind the recent stock rally,” said Mark Haefele, UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment officer.
Although a relentless wave of new COVID-19 infections has crashed down on the global economy — driving up hospitalizations and deaths in its wake — major drugmakers have indicated that an inoculation is right around the corner.