USA: How inauguration affected stocks
After officially being sworn in, President Donald Trump delivered a very populist inauguration address, declaring to the American people, “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you.” He thanked his predecessor Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for their “gracious aid throughout this transition.” As MediaITE informs, he touched on the big issues he wants to tackle in office, from bringing jobs back to America to securing the borders, before saying, “A new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s only going to be America First.”
Trump also made some pretty strong calls for unity: “We will discover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.” He said that no matter a person’s race or religion, “we all bleed the same color of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag. You will never be ignored again,” the president declared. “Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny, and your courage and goodness and love will guide us along the way.” And Trump concluded by saying, one more time, that “together we will Make America Great Again.”
Meanwhile, as CBC reports, North American stock markets finished the first day of the Trump administration higher, with the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 all posting gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 94.85 points at 19,827.25. The broader S&P 500 index finished the day up 7.62 points at 2,271.31, within striking distance of its all-time high set earlier this month. The technology-focused Nasdaq index closed the week up 15.25 points, at 5,555.33.
All three major U.S. indexes had been higher earlier in the day, before the new president's speech sparked a modest retreat from those highs. There was little catalyst for the rally in terms of hard news. Much of the world's attention was trained squarely on the U.S. Capitol building, as the the 45th U.S. president begins to implement actual policies. "There is very little new material information shaping markets this morning as they are likely going to be influenced by headline watching as the incoming U.S. administration focuses upon signing executive orders and advancing legislative measures fairly rapidly over the coming week and beyond," Scotiabank said in a note to clients early Friday morning.
Despite the uncertainty, the buoyant mood spilled over into Canadian stocks, as the S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 138.07 points to 15,547.88. The March crude oil contract was at $53.22 US, up $1.10, while the February contract was at $52.42, up $1.05, on lighter volume. That wasn't enough to buoy the loonie, however, which closed down 0.07 of a cent to 75.04 cents US. The Canadian dollar has fallen all week, having been at 77 cents following the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. Both the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso slipped after Trump's speech reiterated the anti-globalist approach that the new administration seems poised to deploy.