US stocks end inauguration day ahead

  • 20 January 2017
  • From the section Business
NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): US stocks ended the day higher as Wall Street focused its attention on Donald Trump's inauguration as president.

The Dow Jones gained 94.85 points to 19,827.25 while the broader S&P 500 rose 7.62 points to 2,271.31.

The tech-focused Nasdaq index headed 15.25 points higher to 5,555.33.

The three key indexes recovered some of the ground they lost in the immediate aftermath of Mr Trump's inauguration speech.

In the address he struck a strongly nationalist and protectionist stance, causing shares to dip sharply.

"Having listened to Trump's speech, there is a concern about what his trade policies will be," said Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group.

"That's probably the No.1 area where Trump will have to tone down his rhetoric because we do have to work with other nations," he added.

Following Mr Trump's election victory, US stocks soared as investors focused on his campaign promises of higher infrastructure spending and tax reform.

However, in recent weeks markets have held steady as they wait to see if Mr Trump is able to put his plans into practice.

On the S&P 500 Bristol-Myers Squibb closed down 11.28% after it said it would not seek accelerated US approval for a combination of its two immunotherapy drugs as an initial treatment for lung cancer.

Rival Merck's shares gained 3.65% on the news, making them the biggest climber on the Dow, as investors assumed Bristol-Myers' announcement would give Merck an advantage in the market.