Dow Surges Past 30,000 Points For 1st Time In Historic Milestone
Updated at 1:02 p.m. ET
Not even the pandemic could keep the Dow from breaking a major milestone: the 30,000-point barrier.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered past 30,000 for the first time Tuesdayafter President Trump allowed the transition process to begin, even as he has yet to concede.
Investors had been growing worried that Trump's refusal to allow proceedings to begin would hamper President-elect Joe Biden as he prepares to take office.
The Dow was up 1.6% at 30,065 points as of midday trading. The S&P 500 was up 1.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1%.
Trump, who has frequently touted the market during his tenure, addressed the record for the Dow in short remarks at the White House.
"It's a sacred number, 30,000," Trump said. "Nobody thought they'll ever see it."
Shares are headed for big gains this month as progress on developing a vaccine from several companies is raising hopes for a return to normalcy for the global economy, even as a spike in coronavirus cases is raising concerns about the short-term outlook.
This year has seen an especially wild ride for the Dow, as the pandemic lockdowns took a heavy toll on the global economy, forcing businesses all over the world to close and throwing tens of millions out of work.
Pre-pandemic, the Dow had flirted with 30,000, reaching a closing high of 29,569 in February.
But when the coronavirus hit, the market's floor gave way, and the Dow saw multiple days when it fell sharply. By mid-March, it reached a low of 18,214, before making its way back to eventually surpass the 30,000 barrier.
Shares gradually began to recover in April, in part because of quick action by the Federal Reserve and Congress, which set up lending programs for businesses and local governments, while also providing critical support to markets.
While these programs weren't heavily used, their availability was enough to convince investors that it was safe to return to the markets.
By the summer, as states started opening back up again and the economy began to recover, investors piled back into stocks, especially big tech companies like Apple and Microsoft, which have fared well during the lockdowns.
Milestones in the Dow have no technical significance. The psychological impact can be strong, however. The Dow is one of the world's best-known stock indexes by far, and hitting 30,000 sends a message that can boost public confidence in the market's strength.
The Dow hit 20,000 for the first time in January 2017.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.