Stocks rose across the board as investors translated the outcome of Election Day into increased optimism about the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its best session in weeks, rising 2% to 26,180, while the Nasdaq gained 2.6% to end the day at 7,570. The S&P 500 also had its best showing since mid-October, increasing more than 2% to 2,813, which market watchers pointed out was above the “psychological level” of 2,800.
Some of the traction in November has been the result of significant selloffs in October, which increased the attractiveness of many stocks. But today’s post-election atmosphere on Wall Street reflected a post-election optimism about political tensions possibly easing in regard to economic projects. A Republican-controlled Congress has been unable/unwilling to act as a check on President Donald Trump in the first two years of his presidency when he has made controversial decisions about trade sanctions or other measures with economic impact. That landscape changed yesterday when Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives.
President Donald Trump pledged to work together with Democrats and publicly endorsed frequent nemesis Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker, spurring investors to leave the sidelines. The stock market continued to post gains this afternoon even during a poisonous sequence of Trump savaging the media during a press conference, threatening revenge on any Democrats who decide to investigate his personal finances and then firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Most entertainment and tech issues went along for the upbeat ride, with only a small handful of cable programmers and movie exhibitors ending up in red figures. On the tech front, Apple stock rose 3%, Facebook went up 1%, Netflix popped 5% and Amazon surged nearly 7% on the day. Among traditional media companies, Disney, CBS and 21st Century Fox gained a fraction, while Comcast added 1.5%.
Quarterly earnings season, which has been a mixed bag in media and tech, is drawing to a close. Disney, AMC Entertainment, Discovery and Lionsgate report their numbers tomorrow. Viacom is among the last to share financials, on November 16.