U.S. stocks hit fresh records as Biden sworn in as president

NEW YORK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Wall Street's major averages closed at new record highs after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th U.S. president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 257.86 points, or 0.83 percent, to 31,188.38. The S&P 500 increased 52.94 points, or 1.39 percent, to 3,851.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 260.07 points, or 1.97 percent, to 13,457.25. All the three major indexes notched their respective record closes.

Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished in green, with communication services up 3.62 percent, leading the gainers. Financials slipped 0.47 percent, the lone declining group.

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

Biden on Wednesday said in his inauguration speech that his "whole soul is in" unifying a nation torn apart by the many challenges that need to be overcome, urging the American people to come together at a "historic moment of crisis."

Investors weighed the prospects of further U.S. fiscal stimulus.

On Tuesday, Janet Yellen, Biden's nominee for treasury secretary, urged the U.S. Congress to "act big" with a new COVID-19 relief package as the economic recovery is losing momentum amid surging coronavirus cases.

Yellen made the remarks after Biden last week unveiled a 1.9-trillion-U.S.-dollar COVID-19 relief proposal, which drew opposition from a growing number of congressional Republicans.

The United States has registered more than 24.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases with related deaths exceeding 404,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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