U.S. Stocks Higher in Early Trading

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Wall Street stocks were solidly higher early Thursday after Congress formally certified President-elect Joe Biden's election victory hours after a siege of the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives worked through the night and early Thursday morning successfully beat back Republican challenges  as the chambers tried to project a sense of normalcy after the extraordinary occupation only hours earlier.

Equities, which had largely shrugged off Wednesday's unrest, continued to push higher early Thursday as markets anticipate Trump's departure in two weeks.

They also are boosted by the greater likelihood of more fiscal stimulus after Democrats swept the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent at 30,960.73, after the index closed at a record.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to 3,783.08, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.5 percent to 12,925.07.

The Labor Department reported 787,000 new unemployment claims last week, the latest sign that layoffs remain elevated months into the coronavirus pandemic.

The data comes ahead of Friday's closely-watched monthly jobs report.