Stocks climb as Yellen tells Congress to ‘act big’ on coronavirus stimulus

U.S. equity markets rallied Tuesday in President Trump’s final full day in office as traders weighed Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen’s Senate testimony on Capitol Hill.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 30986.41 +172.15 +0.56%
SP500 S&P 500 3801.85 +33.60 +0.89%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13177.523887 +179.02 +1.38%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 119 points, or 0.39%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.59% and 0.81%, respectively. The major averages were closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, will appear before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday for her confirmation hearing. Yellen will say Congress needs to “act big” to combat the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending more aid to families and providing additional money to expedite the distribution of vaccines.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GS GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC. 297.41 -3.75 -1.25%
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 33.17 +0.16 +0.48%

In stocks, Goldman Sachs Group reported strong quarterly results that were bolstered by continued strength in dealmaking and trading. Annual investment banking revenue hit a record while trading revenue was the strongest in a decade.

Bank of America reported a quarterly profit that exceeded estimates but revenue fell short. The firm’s board of directors announced a $3.2 billion share buyback plan.


Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 143.76 -0.89 -0.61%
WU WESTERN UNION 22.18 +0.25 +1.13%

In deals, Walmart will begin offering Western Union services in 4,700 stores globally according to the companies.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LITE LUMENTUM HOLDINGS 95.11 -11.21 -10.54%
COHR COHERENT 199.72 +47.77 +31.44%

Lumentum Holdings agreed to buy laser manufacturer Coherent Inc. for $5.7 billion in cash and stock. Coherent shareholders will receive $100 cash and 1.1851 shares Lumentum shares for each Coherent share they own.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 838.04 +11.88 +1.44%

Elsewhere, Tesla Inc. delivered its first made-in-China Model Y crossover vehicle.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GME GAMESTOP CORP 41.77 +6.28 +17.68%

GameStop Corp. shares squeezed higher for the third time in four sessions as short-sellers continued to head for the exit. Shares had gained 78% over the three trading sessions through Friday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil ticked up 65 cents to $53.01 per barrel and gold climbed $7.80 to $1,837.70 an ounce.


European markets were little changed with Britain’s FTSE 100 higher by 0.09% and France’s CAC 40 edging down 0.08%. Germany’s DAX 30 was flat.

Asian markets ended mixed with China’s Shanghai Composite sliding 0.83% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied 1.39% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2.7%.

Della C. Mae

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