Nasdaq hits record high at open as Netflix soars; Biden takes office

FILE- Company logo and view of Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos Calif

Asian shares rose Thursday on optimism over the new USA administration that earlier set off a rally on Wall Street.

"I'm not sure that the politics of inauguration day did much but certainly the expectation for a trillion plus in stimulus", Mayfield added, referring to Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion spending plan.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4%.

As equity gauges rose, US stimulus hopes weighed on the greenback, pushing the dollar index down 0.17% to 90.254. Analysts came in with low expectations, forecasting the big companies in the S&P 500 will report a fourth straight drop in earnings per share because of the damage from the pandemic.

The S&P 500, a barometer for the top 500 U.S. stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, settled at 3,850, up 1.4 percent, after an all-time high of 3,860 earlier.

The Dow and S&P 500 posted all-time highs, but none gained more than the Nasdaq, which climbed 2% to a new record thanks in part to Netflix, which saw its share price surge after an excellent quarterly earnings report.

Biden will waste little time turning the page on the Trump era, aides said, signing 15 executive actions in the afternoon on issues ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy to climate change.

He has also pitched a plan to pump US$1.9 trillion more into the struggling economy, hoping to act quickly as his Democratic party takes control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

The hope on Wall Street is that such stimulus will help carry the economy until later this year, when more widespread COVID-19 vaccinations get daily life closer to normal.

US stocks closed at record highs on Wednesday as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th USA president, while solid results from Netflix sparked a rally in shares of "stay-at-home" beneficiaries. The Nasdaq climbed 260.07 points, or 2%, to 13,457.25. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 104.5 points, or 0.8%. Morgan Stanley reported better than expected earnings ahead of the bell driven by gains in trading.

Still, investors remain willing to reward companies that top Wall Street's forecasts.

Australia's ASX 200 jumped more than 0.80% in early trade Thursday. It also said it made more in revenue during the end of 2020 than analysts expected, though its earnings fell short of forecasts.

Gains for stocks have also been accelerating since Biden's election, before his inauguration, on enthusiasm about COVID-19 vaccines and hopes that he and Congress can deliver more stimulus for the economy.

This data, showing the preceding five days, shows a sharp lift following Biden's inauguration.

"What's interesting about Netflix is that they didn't crash, when the economy crumbled".

"We think that global growth is going to continue to pick up", she said.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8 per cent to 6,823.7 at the close of trade, its highest since February previous year, settling just over 300 points short of record pre-pandemic highs.



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