The stock market opened with solid gains Thursday as an election week rally stretched into its fourth consecutive day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 500 points after trading began Thursday, gaining more than 1.7 percent in the first 30 minutes after the market opened. The S&P 500 index rose 2 percent and Nasdaq rose 2.5 percent in that time.
Stocks have risen steadily this week as the U.S. tallies the final votes of the 2020 elections and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report New Trump campaign lawsuit targets late-arriving Georgia mail ballots Rihanna calls on officials to ‘count every vote’ following Election Day: ‘We’ll wait’ MORE sees several paths to winning the presidency.
Wall Street traders see the prospect of a Democratic-controlled House and White House sparring with a GOP-held Senate as generally positive for stocks, though the Senate Republican majority still faces threats that could swing the chamber to Democrats before the next presidential inauguration.
Investors hope that a potential Biden administration and Senate GOP could strike deals on stimulus and coronavirus response funding, tone town President TrumpDonald John TrumpAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report Officials warn delayed vote count could lead to flood of disinformation New Trump campaign lawsuit targets late-arriving Georgia mail ballots MORE’s trade battles, and block proposals that would significantly increase corporate taxes.
Markets have also shaken off Trump’s flurry of lawsuits and tweets seeking to halt the counting of legally-cast ballots in several states as his lead over Biden in Pennsylvania and Georgia steadily dwindles. Biden leads Trump in Arizona, but has seen his lead narrow as votes are counted.
Wall Street veterans say the market’s response reflects confidence that Trump’s baseless attempts to upend the election will not prevail and that the winner of the electoral college will ultimately prevail.
Investors will also be closely watching Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference Thursday, his first public remarks since Election Day, following the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) November conference.
The FOMC is almost certain to announce that it will keep interest rates near zero, but Powell is expected to face questions about how much more the Fed can do to support the economy as bipartisan stimulus negotiations hang in the balance.