US Stock Markets Closed Today as Inauguration Week Unfolds

18 Jan 2021 · 3rd Party Analysis

US Inauguration Week


In Summary

  • President-elect to hit the ground running with ambitious agenda
  • European markets affected by the pandemic

It’s inauguration week and President-elect Joe Biden will take office on Wednesday, Jan 20. On Monday the US stock and bond markets are closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As the inauguration date draws near, US President-elect has set an ambitious legislative agenda that has already started to gain traction with the unveiling of the $1.9tn stimulus plan proposed last week.

The relief package is intended to aid the pandemic-stricken US economy in times when the job growth is stagnant as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country. The challenging tasks ahead for Joe Biden put him in an increasingly difficult position as he would need to persuade congressional Republicans to endorse traditionally Democratic priorities such as state and government spending, higher minimum wage, a raise of direct payments to a total of $2,000 per adult.

The upcoming inauguration on Jan 20 will set a precedent in modern US history. The National Mall will be closed for visitors and nearly 30,000 troops will be patrolling in Washington amid fears that the violence that occurred on Jan 6 could happen again. Additionally, the outgoing President Donald Trump will not attend Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Reportedly, Mr. Trump will hold his send-off and has planned a red carpet, military band, US Air Force flypast, and potentially even a 21-gun salute. President Trump is planning to leave the White House before the official start of the inauguration ceremony.

Mr. Trump will be the first President in 150 years to skip his successor’s inauguration. The most recent example dates from 1869 when Andrew Johnson decided to opt-out from attending Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration. President Trump also set another unorthodox example by becoming the first US President to be impeached twice. Presently, Donald Trump faces a Senate impeachment trial which can ban him from holding public office again.

Joe Biden Targetting Important Issues

Once in office, Joe Biden is planning to take immediate action to tackle the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis, economic recovery, and climate change will be among the first orders of business. Mr. Biden has already called on congressional leaders to come together against the growing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere in the world, European markets open the day struggling for a direction. European indexes are trading relatively flat and unchanged from Friday’s close. UK’s FTSE100 and the French CAC40 are in negative territory, while the German DAX is modestly green. Fears are looming that the eurozone economy could go through a double-dip recession as most of the countries remain under a lockdown. Most recently, Italy introduced new restrictions that will remain in place until Mar 5, while the UK is considering extending the lockdown from Feb 15 to March.

Bitcoin opened the week relatively flat. The number one cryptocurrency retreated from the $40,000 mark, posting an increase of 1.55% in the last 7 days. Bitcoin moved to a record high in the first week of January and went near $42,000 at its peak. Since then, the digital asset fell 27% to its low point near $30,000. Bitcoin is now trading around $36,000 as investors monitor if the current level will hold.

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