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Dow Ends Higher on Boost From Energy, Tech

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·3 min read
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By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The Dow closed higher Tuesday, led by gains in energy and technology and growing optimism that more stimulus is about to hit bank accounts under President-elect Joe Biden's administration.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38%, or 116 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.80%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.53%.

Former Federal Chairwoman Janet Yellen in her confirmation hearing as Treasury Secretary threw a her weight behind Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal and pushed back against Republican Senators who questioned the merit of adopting fiscal expansionary approach.

Yellen said now was the time to "act big" without worrying about national debt. "Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now and longer term scarring of the economy later," she said.

The incoming Treasury Secretary's comments arrived as the quarterly earnings season gathers momentum.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reported fourth-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, but it shares 2%. While Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) reported mixed results as revenue missed analysts estimates, the bank announced a $2.9 billion stock buyback program.

Elsewhere in financials, American Express (NYSE:AXP) rose 4% after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral on expectations for a rebound in consumer spending.

In energy, Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) fell 1% despite reporting fourth-quarter earnings of $0.18 and revenue of $3.24 billion that topped analysts estimates.

Still, the broader energy sector remained well supported by rising oil prices on optimism further stimulus from the incoming Biden administration will boost demand.

More than 400,000 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus following an acceleration in infections over the winter months. Still, top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said the U.S. could reach herd immunity by early the fall if the vaccine roll out goes as planned. "If we do it right, by the time you get to summer, you could have people in the stands at baseball games. Maybe not sitting right next to each other, but some degree of fan participation in an outdoor sport like baseball by the time we get to summer," Fauci said. Tech, meanwhile, also played a role in the intraday rally as the Fab 5 racked up gains after JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) told investors in a note that it was time to return to big tech.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) were higher.

In other news, General Motors (NYSE:GM) said Microsoft was investing in Cruise, its autonomous vehicle project, sending its shares up 10%. Under the deal, Microsoft would be the preferred cloud provider for Cruise and General Motors.

On the political front, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol earlier this month was provoked by President Donald Trump. The comments come ahead of the Senate's Trump impeachment trial.

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