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Stocks Close On Record Highs After Biden Inauguration

Stocks hit record highs on Wednesday after President Biden's inauguration.
Angela Weiss
AFP via Getty Images
Stocks hit record highs on Wednesday after President Biden's inauguration.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all hit new records as markets closed on Wednesday afternoon.

The achievement was notched right in the middle of Inauguration Day celebrations, as the Biden administration played a montage of dancing and singing across America. There just may have been some celebratory shimmies on Wall Street, too.

The Dow rose nearly 1% to 31,188. The tech-heavy NASDAQ closing nearly 2% higher at 13,457, while the broader S&P 500 rose 1.39% to end the day at about 3,852.

The stock market has been surging for months, despite the economic anguish caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Nasdaq has more than doubledsince its pandemic low point back in March.

Overall, stock market performance was very strong during the Trump presidency — annualized returns were almost as high as they were during the Obama administration. (Under President Bill Clinton, stock values soared even more.)

More than any other president, Trump pointed to stock markets gains as his own personal success, although he did not seem to consider stock market losses in the same light.

He repeatedly warned that a Biden win would cause markets to crash.

A market crash is never out of the question, and some analystsworry we're in or approaching a bubble.

But so far, Biden's win has not sent investors into a tailspin. Instead, many on Wall Street seem to believe that the veteran politician, famous for striking legislative deals, can work with Congress to push significantly more stimulus spending, which could boost stocks even higher.

Of course, stock markets respond to many forces outside a chief executive's control, and neither Trump nor Biden can take full credit for the stock markets recent rise.

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Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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