The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time high on Wednesday, with investors optimistic about the prospects of additional fiscal stimulus as results from the runoff elections in Georgia rolled in.
The 30-stock index popped 437.8 points, or 1.6%, to conclude trading Wednesday at 30,829.40.
The S&P 500 hiked 21.28 points to 3,768.98, and also reached a record.
The NASDAQ lost 78.17 points to 12,740.79.
JPMorgan Chase shares progressed 4.7%, and Bank of America shares gained 6.3%.
Tech stocks — the best-performing market group over the past year — lagged on Wednesday amid concerns over higher tax rates. The prospects of new stimulus also made tech stocks less attractive relative to beaten-down cyclical names. Facebook and Amazon both fell more than 2%, and Netflix dipped 3.9%.
Democrat Raphael Warnock is reportedly projected to win the Georgia U.S. Senate special election runoff against incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler. In the other Senate runoff election, Democrat Jon Ossoff was leading Republican Sen. David Perdue, but media outlets said the race was too close to call.
If both Democrats win, that would make a 50-50 tie in the upper chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker vote to give the party control of the Senate.
Some on Wall Street fear that a Democrat-controlled Senate could lead to higher corporate taxes and tougher regulations on companies, which could weigh on the broader market. However, this outcome could also facilitate the passing of additional fiscal stimulus, which could give a boost to companies hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tech stocks could be hit the hardest if Democrats control the Senate as investors rotate away from growth stocks and into names that would benefit most from another stimulus. Also, higher tax rates could hit tech shares more than the rest of the market.
Certain stocks gained on expectations for another stimulus to fight the COVID economic slowdown. Goldman Sachs expects another big stimulus package to the tune of $600 billion in the near term if Democrats prevail and take the Senate.
On the data front, private payrolls fell 123,000 in December, marking the first contraction since the early days of the pandemic, according to a report from ADP. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting growth of 60,000.
Prices for the 10-Year Treasury collapsed, propelling yields to 1.03% from Tuesday’s 0.95%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained 45 cents to $50.38 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices slumped $32.30 to $1,922.10 U.S. an ounce.