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Dow breaks 30,000 for first time as Biden transition ramps up

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 30,000 for the first time Tuesday and the S&P 500 closed at a record high in a post-election rally boosted by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE’s Cabinet picks and news on the development of several effective COVID-19 vaccines.

The Dow closed at 30,046, up 455 points, or 1.5 percent, while the S&P 500 closed at 3,635, up 58 points, or 1.6 percent.

Stocks have roared back from March lows, when they lost a third of their value as the novel coronavirus spread into a pandemic, leading to stay-at-home orders and restrictions on gatherings that hampered businesses and consumer confidence.

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Aggressive monetary policy that brought rates down to zero, paired with fiscal stimulus and relief measures to the tune of $3 trillion, helped fuel the recovery in stocks, even as unemployment remains historically high.

Markets have reacted favorably in recent weeks to major political events, including Biden’s election victory and the announcement of a slew of steady hands to serve as his top aides.

The high likelihood that the Senate will remain under GOP control following two runoffs in January has also boosted markets, which have traditionally done best under divided government.

While the unbridled spread of COVID-19 caused a pullback last week, the retreat barely made a dent in the rally that escalated with announcements from three drug manufacturers that their COVID-19 vaccines were extremely effective and safe.

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE has often used stock performance as a gauge of his stewardship of the economy, though the overall increases under his watch have been below that of other recent officeholders in their first terms, including former Presidents Obama and Clinton.

Trump addressed the topic during a very brief press conference Tuesday.

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“We've never broken 30,000. And that's despite everything that's taken place with the pandemic,” he said, pointing to the quick vaccine development.

“Nobody thought they'd ever see it,” he added of the Dow's new record.

Updated at 4:05 p.m.