Dow futures rise tepidly on Biden's Inauguration Day
By Mark DeCambre
The U.S. stock market was indicated slightly higher Wednesday as investors digested a clutch of corporate results and prepared for the inauguration of Joe Biden (https://www.wsj.com/topics/person/joe-biden) as the 46th U.S. president.
On Tuesday, (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-set-to-rise-as-markets-brace-for-transition-to-biden-from-trump-11611057469?mod=market-snapshot) stocks posted modest gains to start the holiday shortened week. The Dow closed 116.26 points, or 0.4%, higher to end at 30,930.52, the S&P 500 index gained 30.66 points, or 0.8%, closing at 3,798.91, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 198.68 points, or 1.5%, to finish at 13,197.18.
Stocks are trading near record highs as Biden is scheduled to be sworn in at a scaled-down ceremony on Wednesday that begins at noon Eastern Time in Washington, ending a tumultuous four years under the Trump administration.
The incoming president has laid out plans for a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bidens-stimulus-checks-and-tax-credits-would-send-a-windfall-to-americas-poorest-families-heres-exactly-how-much-11611099387) which includes direct payments to Americans and funds set aside for testing and vaccine distribution, to help confront the economic shock from the deadly pandemic. However, he will likely face challenges getting his legislative agenda across the finish line with the Senate split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to provide the tiebreaker.
Biden also has a tall order of attempting to heal the country after riots on the Capitol two weeks ago rattled the nation. About 25,000 national troops are securing the incoming president's inauguration event after supporters of Trump stormed the seat of government, resulting in the deaths of five people.
The former vice president's outdoor address, according to reports, will emphasize the need for unity amid deep divisions in American politics.
Biden has already announced (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/biden-announces-day-one-executive-orders-including-rejoining-who-and-paris-accord-2021-01-20?mod=home-page) a number of executive orders to reverse some of Trump's legislations, as a part of slate of executive orders intended to build momentum for his initiatives, including rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris climate accord. He also is ending bans on travel from 13 Muslim-majority and African nations.
Biden's main focus, however, will be also combating the coronavirus pandemic, as the raging virus in the U.S. registered a grim milestone of 400,000 deaths Tuesday.
Read:Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 96.2 million and U.S. has 401,777 fatalities (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/coronavirus-tally-global-cases-of-covid-19-top-962-million-and-us-has-401777-fatalities-2021-01-20)
The Wall Street Journal reported that Biden will extend a pause on interest and principal payments for federal student loans until the end of September, keeping in place restrictions on evictions and foreclosures, and mandating the wearing of face masks on federal property and for interstate travel on airlines, trains and transit systems.
Outside of the inauguration, investors are parsing earnings reports from the likes of
-Mark DeCambre; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 20, 2021 07:40 ET (12:40 GMT)
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