Market Update: U.S. Stocks Surge Following Midterms, Trump Declares Victory

U.S. stocks surged on Wednesday after Democrats and Republicans divided power among themselves in the House and Senate, setting the stage for more gradual shifts in policy. The cryptocurrency market reached one-month highs as bitcoin the lead of bitcoin cash and XRP.

Stocks See Dramatic Gains

All three major U.S. stock indexes put up large gains on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 545.63 points, or 2.1%, to 26,180.64. Twenty-nine of 30 index members finished in positive territory, led by Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT).

The much broader S&P 500 Index jumped 2.2% to 2,813.87, with all 11 primary sectors finishing in positive territory. The consumer discretionary, healthcare and information technology sectors outperformed the market, gaining at least 2.7%.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.6% to close at 7,570.75.

Trump Declares Victory

U.S. President Donald Trump declared victory on Wednesday after the GOP widened its majority in the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives. In a post-election news conference, Trump said his party’s performance “dramatically outperformed historical precedents,” referring to large swings in Congressional representation for past administrations. The president also said he would “like to see bipartisanship” and “unity” over his next two years in office.

The Republican Party retained the Senate on Wednesday with at least 51 seats compared with 45 for the Democrats. Voters in Mississippi will head to the polls later this month for a runoff after no candidate in the election took more than 50% of the vote. Democrats, meanwhile, took majority control of the House with 221 seats. That represents a gain of 26 compared with 2014.

Crypto Markets Extend Gains

Cryptoassets extended their rally on Wednesday, as bitcoin and other alternative coins followed BCH and XRP higher. The combined value of all cryptocurrencies reached a high of $221 billion, the market’s best level in a month. The rally was accompanied by a sharp uptick in trade volumes, with virtual currency exchanges processing more than $16 billion in transactions.

By the end of trading Wednesday, the top-five cryptoassets by market cap were trading in positive territory, though gains had slowed considerably over the previous 24 hours. Bitcoin’s price exceeded $6,600 for the first time in nearly three weeks but the coin’s share over the overall market slipped below 52%. At the time of writing, BTC was trading at $6,537, up 1.4% on the day.

Ethereum rose 1% to $217, pushing through multiple barriers that had kept price action firmly capped in recent weeks. Bitcoin cash was last spotted trading near $614, having gained 1.4%.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi