US stocks rallied toward records, oil surged past $45 and the dollar fell as the formal start of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition spurred investors into risk assets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 30,000 for the first time, led by a 5% rally in Boeing Co. The S&P 500 jumped more than 1%. Back-to-normal stocks led the gains. Carnival Corp. surged 9%, MGM Resorts International added 7% and Planet Fitness Inc. jumped 8%. The Russell 2000 rose almost 2% and is on track for its best month ever.
Energy companies in the S&P 500 surged 4% after oil topped $45 a barrel in New York for the first time since March 6. Bitcoin rallied past $19,000. The dollar weakened versus major peers and Treasuries slipped. Gold fell toward $1,800 an ounce.
“The market has room to run but on the premise that investors are trying to rotate into these undervalued areas of the market and more into the value play rather than the technology,” Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management, said by phone.
Stock markets globally trended higher after the General Services Administration acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election. The move reduces political uncertainty in the US, giving Biden and his team access to current agency officials, briefing books, some $6 million in funding and other resources. Markets also cheered his plan to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury Department.
“Markets love certainty and the move by Trump overnight partially removes ambiguity over the presidential succession,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with Oanda Asia Pacific Pte, wrote in a note. “A Biden administration is expected to be much less isolationist, with hopes that the U.S. will reengage on global trade and improve relations with China.”
Wall Street is also viewing a possible Yellen appointment as reason to count on more economic stimulus. She recently said the recovery will be uneven and lackluster if Congress doesn’t spend more to fight unemployment and keep small businesses afloat. That’s fueling the rotation out of defensive technology stocks and into assets that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, such as airlines and energy producers.
In other markets, gold dropped to a four-month low and the dollar weakened against its major peers.
In New Zealand, the government proposed adding home prices to the central bank’s remit to rein in an overheating property market. The move has prompted investors to reduce bets on lower interest rates, pushing the kiwi to the highest level since June 2018.
In Germany, the operator of the DAX index announced the biggest overhaul since the index’s inception in 1988. The number of members will increase to 40 from 30 and new quality criteria will be imposed on both existing and prospective members.