Dow surges past 30,000 mark for the first time in history

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

The blue-chip index was recently up 488.41 points, or 1.7 percent, at 30,079.68. Earlier in the session, the index hit 30116.51, its highest intraday level in history.

Investors reacted favorably to news that President Donald Trump has allowed the GSA to direct funds to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the office on January 20, 2021. This news was coupled with news that a growing number of pharmaceutical firms are announcing encouraging results about the prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine getting distributed next year.

Wall Street analysts say investors are piling into stocks on signs that the coronavirus-battered economy is recovering amid record-low interest rates that have encouraged riskier investments.

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

The Dow had initially hit the 30,000 mark in February, but the index was slammed as the coronavirus arrived in the US a month later, briefly plunging below the 19,000 mark. It has since clawed back those losses, with most analysts citing aggressive measures by the Federal Reserve and Congress to prop up the US economy.

US stocks have been on the rise 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.