(Sharecast News) – Wall Street stocks opened higher on Thursday after Joe Biden was confirmed by Congress as the 46th President of the United States, hours after a mob incited by the incumbent stormed and occupied the Capitol building.
As of 1520 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.73% at 31,053.87, while the S&P 500 was 1.32% firmer at 3,797.50 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 2.06% stronger at 13,002.66.
The Dow opened 224.47 points higher on Thursday despite a large number of pro-Donald Trump protestors gathering outside the Capitol turned violent overnight, making their way through security barricades and entering the building.
The violence broke out following a Senate run-off race in Georgia, with the Democrats needing to win both seats to take the balance of power from the Republicans
Multiple media outlets had called winners for both seats for the Democrats, with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff beating Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively, giving both parties 50 seats in the Senate, meaning vice president-elect Kamala Harris would have a tie-breaking vote.
Following the news, Senators, Representatives and staff were locked down and subsequently evacuated as an armed standoff between a rioter and police took place at the doors to the House chamber. Other rioters made it onto the Senate floor, while images also showed a pro-Trump protestor inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
The national guard was then called to help to secure the Capitol, while crowds were dispersed by police using teargas and concussion grenades as the nation’s capital was placed under a 12-hour curfew.
As far as Biden’s confirmation was concerned, Senators and House Representatives certified the electoral college votes in the early hours of Thursday morning in Washington as America reeled at the scenes of anarchy overnight
However, the process was more drawn out than usual after more than 130 Congress members supported Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud, meaning that each objection had to be debated.
On the macro front, unemployment claims dipped in the US during the latest week for which data was available. According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims slipped by 3,000 over the week ending on 2 January to reach 787,000.
Initial claims data for the prior week were revised up by the same amount to 790,000, while secondary claims fell by 126,000 to 5.072m
Still on jobs, planned job cuts jumped to 77,030 in December, up 18.9% from the 64,797 in November and 134.5% higher than the 32,843 cuts announced in the final month of 2019, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Elsewhere, America’s shortfall on trade with the rest of the world widened more than expected in November, in part amid stockpiling of cell phones and other household goods by firms ahead of the Christmas holidays According to the Department of Labor, in seasonally adjusted terms the deficit on trade in goods and services increased by 8.0% month-on-month to reach $68.1bn
Lastly, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing PMI increased to 57.2 in December of 2020 from 55.9 in November, beating market forecasts of 54.6 and pointing to the strongest growth in the services sector in three months.
In the corporate space, Walgreens Boots Alliance beat estimates as the international drugstore chain’s sales weathered coronavirus-related disruptions in both the UK and the US, while Bed Bath & Beyond revealed that earnings had fallen short amid store closures.
WD-40 and Micron Technology will update on trading after the close.