Stocks closed sharply higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring above the 30,000 mark for the first time as concerns about political instability subsided as the formal transition for President-Elect Joe Biden began.
The Dow soared 1.5% to 30,046.24 while the S&P 500 gained 1.6% to 3,635.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.3% to 12,036.79. Ten of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 ended higher, led by a jump of 5.2% in energy shares followed by financials, which gained 3.5%. The only losing sectors were real estate.
General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy had resisted allowing Biden's team access to government funds for the transition as Trump's campaign filed numerous unsuccessful lawsuits to contest Biden's election win in a number of states.
The General Services Administration has informed the Biden team that the Trump administration was ready to start the transition of power, allowing the release of funding required for the process as well as sharing of data and information between the White House and the President-Elect's team, according to reports. President Donald Trump said in a tweet late Monday that while he would continue to dispute the results of the Nov. 3 election, he agreed to begin the process of handing over power in January.
Yellen, who reportedly supports more stimulus to underpin the US economy, is seen as a "very credible choice" overall and, specifically, "well equipped" to drive the recovery from the destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stifel said in a report.
"Not only does her resume speak for itself in terms of qualifications, her earlier positions come with extensive relationships," the report said. "Yellen is said to be both well acquainted and highly regarded by foreign finance ministers and central bankers."
Wedbush Securities said the Biden administration will have a wide-reaching impact across all sectors but its focus on environmental issues and reducing the carbon footprint could have a dramatic impact for electric vehicles. Shares of Tesla (TSLA) were up 4.7%, among the top three performers in the index.
While Best Buy (BBY) reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results on Tuesday, it opted not to provide guidance as uncertainty about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Shares were down 7.7%.
Dollar Tree (DLTR) rose 14% after the discount retailer said sales in its current quarter were tracking above its most recent three-month period.
BlackRock (BLK) rose 2.4% after the firm said it would pay $1.05 billion to acquire investment management firm Aperio Group.
McCormick (MKC) firmed 1.9% after the spice maker agreed to purchase the parent company of Cholula Hot Sauce for $800 million in cash.
In the precious metals markets, gold was down 1.7% to 1,812.00 an ounce, with silver down 1.5% to $23.40 an ounce.