US stocks gain ahead of Biden inauguration

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 per cent at 31,035.21, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 3,826.46. — AFP pic
About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 per cent at 31,035.21, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 3,826.46. — AFP pic

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NEW YORK, Jan 20 — The Nasdaq led US stocks higher early today ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden amid hopes for more stimulus spending and an improved rollout of coronavirus vaccines.

The broad-based S&P 500 has risen about nine per cent since Biden was declared the winner of the November election, which came just ahead of regulatory approvals of the first Covid-19 vaccines.

Biden is expected to emphasize the need for national unity after the contentious presidency of Donald Trump.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3 per cent at 31,035.21, while the S&P 500 gained 0.7 per cent to 3,826.46.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index stood above its record close at 13,374.52, up 1.3 per cent.

The early gains today added to positive momentum from the prior session as Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen argued for a robust fiscal package to support the coronavirus-ravaged US economy.

Among individual companies, Netflix shot up 12.7 per cent as it reported better-than-expected subscriber growth in the past quarter.

The streaming television leader added some 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 million despite recent price hikes, its quarterly earning update showed.

Morgan Stanley gained 1.9 per cent as it reported a 27 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profits to US$3.3 billion (RM13.4 billion) following a strong performance by its trading division. — AFP

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