The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time closing high on Wednesday's mixed session as traders grew optimistic towards potentiel for more Congressional stimulus as the results from the Georgia runoff Senate election pointed to a Democratic win.
Market participants forecast that a Democratic-controlled Congress will be positive for near-term economic growth globally, but will be negative for bond and the U.S. Dollar as the nation's budget and trade deficits increase.
In late afternoon trade, stocks slightly reversed gains as protestors in support of President Donald Trump overwhelmed the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. as lawmakers were in the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.
Meanwhile, the ADP's December Employment report showed that jobs in the private sector fell for the first time since April, falling by 123,000 for the month. The service sector was hardest hit as tougher social restrictions were reissued across the country in mid-November following a surge in daily coronavirus infections.
Here's how the market settled on Wednesday:
S&P 500 Index (SPY ): +0.60% or +21.28 points to 3,748.14
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA ): +1.44% or +437.80 points to 30,829.40
Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ ): -0.61% or -78.17 points to 12,740.79
For Stocks, solar energy names rose on the prospect of a Democratic political sweep, with SunPower (SPWR ), Sunrun (RUN ), Enphase Energy (ENPH ) and Sunnova (NOVA ) all rallying higher. Banks of all sizes increased on Wednesday as a rise in long-term rates will lead to higher interest rates financial firms can charge in their commercial lending. Regional banks like KeyCorp (KEY ) and Comerica (CMA ) rose over 8% while diversified banks like JP Morgan (JPM ), Bank of America (BAC ) and Citigroup (C ) gained over 5%. Chinese telecom giants China Mobile (CHL ), China Unicom (CHU ) and China Telecom (CHA ) reversed previous gains after the New York Stock Exchange changed its decision for a second time this week to delist the stocks from the exchange.
For Sector Performance, most sectors on the S&P 500 ended Wednesday's session in positive territory, with only Communication Services (XLC ), Real Estate (XLRE ), Consumer Staples (XLP ) and Information Technology (XLK ) slipping into negative territory. Financials (XLF ) and Materials (XLB ) were the lead gainers, rising over 4%, followed by Utilities (XLU ) and Industrials climbing over 2% and Health Care (XLV ) rising by 1%.
For Commodities and Currencies, the U.S. Dollar (UUP ) bounced in later trading from nearly three year lows on Wednesday following market sentiment that more economic stimulus packages will be passed under a Democratic controlled Congress. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against other global currencies, hit its lowest since March 2018 at 89.206, but then rose slightly to 89.48 for the session. Bitcoin traded above $35,000 for the first time on Wednesday, rising as high as $35,879.35 as it extends its monster rally. Gold (GLD ) prices sunk on Wednesday on the rising dollar. Spot gold tumbled 2.2% to $1,907.21 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures settled 2.3% lower at $1,909.10 per ounce. Crude oil futures extended Tuesday's roughly 5% gains on Wednesday as U.S. crude inventories declined. International benchmark Brent Crude (BNO ) gained slightly to $53.92 per barrel, while domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate (USO ) rose 1.4% higher to $50.63 each.
For Thursday, market participants will focus on more developments in Washington D.C. as well as fresh weekly unemployment claims data from the Labor Department.