Wall Street extends Trump election rally after New Year break

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 7:12am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2017, 7:12am

Wall Street rose sharply on Tuesday as a post-election rally extended into the new year, helped by gains in Verizon Communications and technology companies Alphabet and Facebook.

US stocks have surged over the past two months on expectations that President-elect Donald Trump will stimulate the economy with tax cuts and infrastructure spending and slash regulations in the financial industry.

“The market is picking up where it left off since the Trump presidency,” said Thomas Wilson, senior investment manager at Brinker Capital. “What you are seeing is the market moving up in anticipation of fiscal expansion.”

However, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading near the never-before-reached 20,000 mark, some investors warned that additional strong gains would be unlikely in the short term. They want to see evidence that Trump’s campaign-trail promises will be approved by Republican lawmakers concerned about widening the federal budget deficit.

“The president-elect can’t just wave a magic wand,” said Warren West, principal at Greentree Brokerage Services in Philadelphia. “He has to deal with Congress, and Congress hasn’t proved to be able to agree with itself.”

The Dow came within a hair’s breadth of the historic 20,000 milestone in December but it has since fallen back. The average rose to as much as 19,938.53 earlier in the session on Tuesday, helped by Walt Disney.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 119.16 points, or 0.6 per cent, to end at 19,881.76 points and the S&P 500 gained 0.85 per cent to 2,257.83. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.85 per cent to 5,429.08.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.53 per cent, while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.33 per cent. Emerging market stocks rose 0.8 per cent.

Earlier, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent.

The US dollar touched a 14-year high and major stock markets got off to a solid start in the new year, boosted by strong data, while debt yields edged up after upbeat economic figures out of China and Europe.

Oil prices hit an 18-month high before turning negative and falling more than 2 per cent, restrained by the strong dollar, as US factory activity accelerated to a two-year high in December amid a surge in measures of new orders and employment. The S&P energy index rose 1.15 per cent, with Exxon Mobil up 0.70 per cent.

Inflation rose in Germany and France, providing the euro zone’s central bank with evidence its loose monetary policy is working, while Chinese data showed the fastest factory output growth in six years.

Verizon gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, rising 2.25 per cent after Citigroup upgraded the stock to “buy.” Also boosting the S&P 500 were Google parent-company Alphabet , which rose 1.96 per cent and Facebook adding 1.57 per cent.

Ford Motor jumped 3.79 per cent. The carmaker said it would cancel a planned US$1.6 billion factory in Mexico and invest $700 million at a Michigan factory, after Trump had harshly criticised the Mexico investment plan.