Dow crosses 30,000 for the first time in history

The Dow Jones industrial average surged past the 30,000 mark for the first time in history on Tuesday as Wall Street welcomed a key step toward a peaceful transfer of power in Washington.

The blue-chip index climbed as many as 479.4 points, or about 1.6 percent, to an intraday peak of 30,070.67 after President Trump directed his administration to start the formal process of handing control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also posted gains as large as 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, following the move, which appeared to assuage concerns about Trump refusing to cooperate with the presidential transition.

“Trump’s attempts to overturn the election result was not the disruptive influence it could have been in the markets,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “The reaction we’re seeing is probably more relief at the process delivering in the way we all expect it should.”

US stocks have been on a tear since Election Day, lifted by the likelihood of a Republican Senate blocking big policy changes under Biden as well as drugmakers’ major strides toward producing a coronavirus vaccine.

Tuesday’s gains put the Dow up about 1,532 points, or 5.3 percent, for the year despite the COVID-19 pandemic tanking global markets in February and March.

But crossing the 30,000 mark is just a “symbolic moment” for the market, according to James McDonald, CEO of Los Angeles-based Hercules Investments.

“It is simply a continuation of the market’s euphoria after the pre-election selloff,” McDonald said. “At the end of the day, Dow 30,000 is just a number and the milestone doesn’t hold any credence in determining the near-term stock market outlook.”

It’s record government spending, and “full-blown market mania” that’s driving the down in recent weeks, versus economic fundamentals, says Zach Abraham, Chief Investment Officer at Bulwark Capital Management. Nevertheless, he expects the Dow will continue to outperform other indices as many of its blue-chip components are trading at relatively low valuations, especially anything related to energy.

“It’s always historic when the Dow crosses these milestones,” Abraham said. “Pretty incredible in a year like 2020 that all of these indexes are pushing substantially higher. Investors should enjoy the gains, take it in, but make sure they’re rebalancing and taking profits.”

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