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Topline

Just one day after a violent mob of supporters of President Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election and amid calls in Washington to remove Trump from office, U.S. stocks soared to all-time highs again on Thursday—seemingly unaffected by the chaos unfolding on Capitol Hill. Here’s why. 

Key Facts

All three indices closed above previous records on Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing with gains of 1.5%, the Dow Jones industrial average up 0.7% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 2.5%.

They performed similarly on Wednesday, even though the market closed while Trump supporters were still present in the Capitol Building, because “investors for the last couple of weeks stopped doubting the transition,” said Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli. 

Crisafulli added that markets on Wednesday were “firmly focused on the implications of Dem control of the House, Senate, and White House” as two Democratic Senators claimed victory in runoff elections in Georgia rather than the riot unfolding in the nation’s capital. 

Interactive Brokers chief strategist Steve Sosnick told the New York Times that the “disturbing” short term unrest in the Capitol “ultimately doesn’t really change the long-term picture.”

Crucial Quote

“It was a horrible day for democracy, but was it a horrible day for capitalism?,” asked colorful tv markets commentator Jim Cramer Thursday of stocks’ apparent insulation from the chaos in Washington. 

Key Background

It’s not unusual for stocks to brush off major protests and tragedies in the United States. Just this summer, the S&P 500 saw the best 50-day streak in its history during the massive protests and civil unrest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The index added nearly 20% in 1963, the year President Kennedy was assassinated, and it soared a staggering 26% in 2003 after protests erupted all over the world in response to the Iraq war. 

Further Reading

The Stock Market Doesn’t Care About Violence. Here’s How It’s Performed During Major U.S. Protests And Tragedies (Forbes)

Stocks Add To Record Highs As Goldman Ups Q1 Stimulus Expectations To $750 Billion (Forbes)

As Trump Supporters Storm Capitol, Dow Rallies 400 Points To Close At All-Time High (Forbes)