The Dow Jones Industrial Average went above 30,000 points for the first time and the S&P also achieved a news record due to optimism for a coronavirus vaccine and gains on U.S. home prices.
According to Fox News, the market was also boosted by President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement that former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, 74, will be nominated for the Treasury Secretary post. Yellen’s appointment is seen by many as a stabilizing force during a time of economic fragility amid the coronavirus pandemic. If confirmed, Yellen, who served as the chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, would be the first woman to hold the position. Yellen is also expected to be confirmed with little drama as she is viewed positively by progressive Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren and Republicans, including former members of President Trump’s cabinet.
“She has great experience, she has great judgment. I think she would make a terrific Federal Reserve chair,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, said in 2013 when Yellen was being considered for the Fed chair.
Trump’s former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn also praised Yellen on Twitter Tuesday.
Janet Yellen is an excellent choice for Treasury Secretary. Having had the opportunity to work with then-Chair Yellen, I have no doubt she will be the steady hand we need to promote an economy that works for everyone, especially during these difficult times. Congratulations.
— Gary Cohn (@Gary_D_Cohn) November 23, 2020
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 454 points, or 1.54%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.62% and 1.31% on the news of Yellen’s nomination and that the first coronavirus vaccinations could go out before the end of the year.
The news sent stocks rising in a litany of areas including pharmaceuticals after AstraZeneca announced positive news regarding its coronavirus vaccine. According to Fox, oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips saw their stocks rise as the price for crude oil hit $44.91 per barrel, its highest price since March. Cruise operators and airlines also saw their stocks rise, a good indicator of holiday travel, despite warnings from federal and state health officials.
President Trump even praised Tuesday’s gains in a one-minute press conference that confused White House reporters.
Overheard in the briefing room "Well, that was weird as shit." pic.twitter.com/T2iAKwhWU2
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) November 24, 2020
The rise didn’t last, however, as CNBC reported the market falling more than 200 points early Wednesday.