US stocks boosted by start of Biden transition

US stocks boosted by start of Joe Biden White House transition

Outgoing President Donald Trump still has not conceded his election defeat

Representative Image. Credit: AFP Photo

US stocks rose for a second straight session Tuesday, buoyed by hopes that the start of the presidential transition in Washington hearkens a peaceful transfer of power.

Outgoing President Donald Trump still has not conceded his election defeat, but on Monday night, his administration authorized a transition, clearing the way for President-elect Joe Biden to have access to funds, office space and the ability to meet with federal officials.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 29,896.78, up 1.0 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 3,600.73, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.1 per cent to 11,890.07.

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Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare recognized the Washington developments as "another excuse" for the market to rally in a holiday-shortened week, during a period when positive momentum is driving a "fear of missing out" trend.

Stocks also rose Monday following an upbeat coronavirus vaccine announcement by British drugs group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford as well as news that Biden will tap former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary.

Those positive developments helped offset worries about rising Covid-19 cases that are spurring fresh restrictions in California, Nevada and other states.