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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 28 February 2021

Wall Street closes at record high after Biden takes office

Netflix and other 'stay-at-home' stocks rose on Wednesday

The presidential inauguration plays on a screen as trader Timothy Nick works in a booth on the trading floor, January 20, 2021. AP
The presidential inauguration plays on a screen as trader Timothy Nick works in a booth on the trading floor, January 20, 2021. AP

Wall Street greeted new US President Joe Biden by climbing even higher on Wednesday, closing at record highs amid promises of a major economic stimulus and relief at an uneventful inauguration.

All three major indexes ended at record highs after Mr Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the US in a peaceful ceremony.

That was only two weeks after supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol to try to overturn the results of the November election.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index led the charge, jumping 2.0 per cent to end the day at 13,457.25, fuelled in part by a huge gain for Netflix shares after a strong earnings report.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 per cent to close at 31,188.38, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 1.4 per cent to 3,851.85.

Mr Biden and his team have backed an aggressive economic relief package, winning praise from investors eager to see the US economy rebound.

Investors were among those relieved that worries about civil unrest did not come to pass in a nation's capital that looked more like a military stronghold.

Netflix shot up 16.9 per cent after it reported better-than-expected subscriber growth that was better than expected in the past three months.

The streaming entertainment leader added about 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 million, despite recent price rises, its quarterly earnings update showed.

Other large technology companies also had a winning session.

Apple ended up 3.3 per cent, Amazon 4.6 per cent, Google's parent Alphabet hit a record high after gaining 5.6 per cent and Facebook rose 2.4 per cent.

Updated: January 21, 2021 02:25 AM

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