U.S. stocks rise with Georgia elections in focus

NEW YORK, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street's major averages finished higher on Tuesday as investors turned their focus to two high-stake Senate runoffs in the U.S. state of Georgia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 167.71 points, or 0.55 percent, to 30,391.60. The S&P 500 was up 26.21 points, or 0.71 percent, to 3,726.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 120.51 points, or 0.95 percent, to 12,818.96.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 ended in green, with energy up 4.53 percent, outpacing the rest. Real estate lost 0.08 percent, the lone declining group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

The runoff elections in Georgia, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, will determine which party has control of the U.S. Senate, which currently leans Republican.

The races come two months after the candidates' first matchups as part of the elections on Nov. 3, 2020, during which neither of them reached the 50-percent threshold for an outright victory, triggering a second round of voting as required by state election law in Georgia.

Many experts have noted the importance of the Georgia runoffs to President-elect Joe Biden's agenda, which in turn means it is important to the U.S. economy.

On the data front, the December U.S. Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) registered 60.7 percent, following the November reading of 57.5 percent, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported on Tuesday.

"The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in December," but "absenteeism, short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities and difficulties in returning and hiring workers are causing strains that are limiting manufacturing growth potential," said the ISM report.

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