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US Stocks Rally on Inauguration Day

Trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Flickr/Scott Beale.

Across the board, American stocks closed at new highs Wednesday after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US president. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw their best Inauguration Day gains in four decades, since Ronald Reagan was sworn in for his second term in 1985.

The S&P 500 rose about 1.4 percent Wednesday, and the S&P Retail Select Industry Index increased about 0.4 percent in the same period. Major chains including Nike, Gap, Walmart and Lululemon all posted gains in the low single digits.

Typically it’s Republican presidents who drive the market upward after being elected, but analysts say Biden’s much anticipated $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package as well as his pandemic task force will protect businesses struggling after nearly a year of disruption.

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