A woman walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Asian stocks advanced Tuesday as investors watched for details of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's promised economic stimulus plan. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks advanced Tuesday as investors watched for details of President-elect Joe Biden's promised economic stimulus plan.
Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong were higher. Seoul declined while Sydney swung between gains and losses.
Overnight, Wall Street declined following a string of record-setting gains.
Investors were encouraged by U.S. election results that showed Biden's Democratic Party will control the Senate, reducing potential opposition to his plans. Biden promised to announce details this week of the plan he will propose after he takes office Jan. 20.
“Investors found optimism in the prospect of further fiscal stimulus,” said Cesar Perez Ruiz of Pictet Wealth Management in a report. With the Senate in Democratic hands, “President-elect Biden has a better chance of pushing through his agenda and delivering sorely-needed stimulus and support.”
No major potentially market-moving events were on the calendar Tuesday in Asia.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.8% to 3,559.86 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.1% to 28,178.56. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.5% to 28,037.51.
The Kospi in Seoul shed 2.9% to 3,056.42 while the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney was unchanged at midday at 6,697.40. New Zealand and Singapore retreated while Jakarta advanced.
Overnight, Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index declined 0.7% to 3,799.61, breaking a four-day streak of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.3% to 31,008.69. The Nasdaq composite slid 1.3% to 13,036.43.
U.S. markets shrugged off the attack on the Capitol in Washington by Trump supporters who were trying to block final confirmation of Biden's victory.
“I believe stocks were looking ahead to better days, expecting a robust economic recovery once there is broad distribution of vaccines,” said Kristina Hooper of Invesco in a report.
The market's record-setting run means stocks and other investments are even more expensive, leaving critics to say they’ve gone too high.
Stocks in the S&P 500 are trading at roughly 29 times their earnings, well above their average of 18 times over the past decade.
The gains come despite negative U.S. economic news. Employers cut more jobs last month than they added for the first time since the start of the pandemic last spring.
The United States and other countries also face potentially more contagious types of the coronavirus. That is prompting governments to reimpose restrictions that disrupt travel and commerce.
Democrats are pushing for the removal of Trump, who has less than two weeks left in his term, after he helped to incite loyalists who stormed the Capitol.
Shares of Twitter slid 6.4% for one of the largest losses in the S&P 500 after it banned Trump from his account and his 89 million followers. Twitter cited “the risk of further incitement of violence,” but the move has drawn a lot of anger from conservatives who may abandon the service and ask for more regulatory scrutiny of the company. Facebook fell 4% after it suspended Trump’s accounts.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 9 cents to $52.16 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 1 cent on Monday to $52.25. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 10 cents to $55.56 per barrel in London. It fell 33 cents the previous session to $55.66 a barrel.
The dollar rose to 104.30 yen from Monday's 104.16. The euro fell to $1.2141 from $1.2163.
7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America
Despite their disagreements (real or imagined) on almost everything, Democrats and Republicans alike love infrastructure projects. These are easy wins for Congressional leaders seeking re-election. And they typically spur job creation, which contributes to economic growth.
With that in mind, it’s ironic that, in the last four years, the United States Congress did not pass an infrastructure bill.
Nevertheless, even with (and maybe because of) the gridlock that looks to be in the country’s future, the infrastructure looks to be on the front burner again. The economic recovery is still far from complete. Unfortunately, neither are America’s roads, energy grid, telecommunications systems, and the like. That means that it would seem like a good policy for a Biden administration to look at an infrastructure bill.
Biden will be under pressure to endorse the $1.5 trillion infrastructure package that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed in July. But the package may need to be tweaked a bit since it currently includes climate change initiatives that have kept the bill from advancing through the Senate.
However, it appears that the economy will need some significant juice after whatever this winter brings in terms of the virus. And if calmer heads prevail (we can always hope), there may be a major infrastructure bill to stimulate job creation. And we’ve identified seven stocks that should bear watching if this comes to pass.
View the "7 Infrastructure Stocks That May Help Rebuild America".