Wall Street rose to record highs as markets opened this afternoon after US President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited coronavirus stimulus bill.
The S&P 500 rose 0.7 per cent in early trading, while the Dow Jones and Nasdaq were also up 0.69 per cent and 0.67 per cent respectively.
It comes after Trump belatedly signed into law a $2.3 trillion (£1.7 trillion) coronavirus aid and spending package.
The president had previously refused to sign the bill, plunging the government into chaos and sparking the risk of a partial shutdown in Washington.
But Trump this morning backed down following fierce pressure from both Democrats and Republicans.
The move prompted relief among politicians and buoyed trading on the main US indices.
Airline stocks were among the top risers as the package is expected to provide much-needed relief to the battered sector.
Banks, including Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, also pushed higher.
In addition to stimulus optimism, investor confidence was boosted by the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations across Europe and the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
“Now that the uncertainty has ended over the US stimulus package and Brexit deal, there’s nothing stopping stock markets from heading into record territory in the run up to the New Year,” said Raffi Boyadjian, senior investment analyst at XM.