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Traders this week faced the first real test of the new year. And that was a political one. This week, after certifying the results of the presidential election, Congress was set to formally elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. That process is normally a smooth one, but this year was marred by violence. After a pro-Trump rally, protesters stormed the Capitol Building to stop the certification of the Electoral College votes. After a clash with Capitol police, Biden was certified as the next President-elect.
Other political battles raged this week as well. This included the results of the critical run-off election in Georgia. With Democrats winning the two Senate seats, the party now has full control of the House, Senate, and Presidency. This scenario was one that Wall Street hadn’t anticipated before and initially spooked traders.
However, by the end of the week, the markets surged to new records.
Buoying those gains was a mixed data picture that would call for stimulus measures. Add in a non-existent corporate action environment and stocks spent much of the week trending higher.