Stock market shakes off a slump to reach more record highs

Pedestrians walk by the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Monday

With pandemic restrictions being reinstated in many places as coronavirus caseloads rise amid faltering rollouts of COVID-19 vaccines, economists and investors have been hoping for more economic aid for Americans and businesses.

(MENAFN - Stock futures rose early Friday after another record-breaking session on Wall Street as traders braced for the latest report release.

The S&P 500 rose 20.89 points to 3,824.68.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Congressional leaders have chose to resume the joint session to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win once the Capitol is "cleared for use". President-elect Joe Biden accused Trump of fomenting violence and said Wednesday was one of the darkest days in US history.

"A Democratic Congress is going to obviously be more concerned about the small businesses, and the Main Street".

"The market is now anticipating a massive amount of stimulus, a CARES act part two and a massive infrastructure program" Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas told Reuters, citing the outcome earlier this week of the Georgia runoff elections that confirms that the Democrats will control Congress for the next two year at least.

The U.S. Treasury will sell 13- and 26-week bills Monday. "This is good for risky assets, and especially the stock market", he said.

Among individual stocks, 3M shares dropped 2.3% after a downgrade by Bank of America that cited risks related to environmental regulation as Democrats take control of the Senate.

In Asian stock markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2.4%, its highest finish in more than 30 years.

All three major indices finished at records on Thursday, again shrugging off the fallout from Wednesday's chaos on Capitol Hill, when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump attacked and occupied the US Capitol for hours in an effort to overturn the election. The S&P 500 closed with gains of 0.55%, the Nasdaq 100 with gains of 1.28% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average with gains of 0.2%.

"We believe that this is a very sweet spot, from a political point of view, for the market", said Stephane Monier, chief investment officer at Lombard Odier.

Investors will get a key piece of economic data on Friday morning when the U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report for December.

DXC Technology Co surged 9.3%, the largest gainer on the S&P, as France's IT consulting group Atos SE made a more than $10 billion takeover approach for its US rival, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.72-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.98-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 was 1.5% higher in the first trading after Congress confirmed Joe Biden as the victor of the presidential election and Jon Ossoff was declared the victor of a Georgia runoff election, tipping control of the Senate to Democrats.