(CBSNewYork) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 30,000 threshold for the first time ever on Tuesday. Morning trading saw the Dow up 400 points. Trading continued in that rarified air into the afternoon. The Dow ended its day at 30,046.24, a gain of almost 455 points. The broader S&P 500 also moved into record territory, reaching 3,640 at one point, before closing at 3,635.41.
The rise is seen as reflecting the market’s optimism in a more stable future. Multiple different events have contributed to that view.
The General Services Administration is letting President-elect Joe Biden move forward with the formal transition process after some delays. This gives Mr. Biden access to key funding, office space, classified intelligence briefings and agencies. President Donald Trump also tweeted his recommendation that the process move forward.
…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
Additional key states have also certified their election results after weeks of deliberations. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified its election results Monday. That formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state over President Trump, giving him Michigan’s 16 electoral votes. Tuesday morning Pennsylvania certified its election, with the state’s 20 electoral votes officially going to Biden.
Biden has also signaled that he will name Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve and emeritus professor of economics at UC Berkeley, as his secretary of the Treasury, according to two sources with knowledge of the pick. Yellen will be the first woman to hold the job, should the Senate confirmed her. She will lead the Biden administration’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has decimated the economy and left millions of Americans out of work. Yellen is a known commodity on Wall Street and is seen as someone who will support government action to boost the economy.
A fourth factor in the Dow’s rise to historic heights is promising news on the coronavirus vaccine front. Three different COVID-19 vaccines have proved highly effective in late-stage trials. The most recent comes from AstraZeneca, which said this week its “AZD1222” vaccine was “highly effective” in preventing disease, showing up to 90% efficacy in patients. Last week, Pfizer and Moderna reported similarly positive results for their vaccines in late-stage trials.
It’s important to remember that the stock market is a subset of the economy. And the economy, as a whole, faces enormous challenges as it continues to repair the damage wrought by this deadly virus. This strong day on Wall Street suggests investors are encouraged by the transition of power and believe that the economy can one day recover.