Investors reacted positively from President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night address to Congress, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points Wednesday for the first time in its history. Banks, financial institutions, companies in the energy and materials sector saw huge gains as Trump reaffirmed during his speech his plans to cut taxes and push for other business-friendly policies.
The Dow jumped 242 points, or 1.2 percent, to 21,055 as of 10:07 a.m. Eastern Time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 24 points, or 1 percent, to 2,387. The Nasdaq composite index added 59 points, or 1 percent, to 5,885. Small-company stocks continued to outpace the rest of the market, a bullish signal on the economy. The Russell 2000 index rose 24 points, or 1.7 percent, to 1,410.
“It’s nice to see the Dow put another thousand figure up so quickly,” said Paul Christopher, head global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute. “At the same time, it sort of suggests this is a sentiment-driven rally. There’s usually some recalibration of sentiment at some point.”
In his speech, Trump struck a less confrontational tone than usual and steered away from dramatically negative descriptions of the state of the U.S. economy. He also reaffirmed his pledges to reform taxes, slash red tape and ramp up spending on defense and infrastructure projects. The promises have helped send U.S. stock benchmarks to records.
Overseas markets also reacted positively. In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 1.9 percent, while France’s CAC 40 was 2.2 percent higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 1.6 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.4 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent. South Korea’s markets were closed for a holiday.