Dow breaks record 21,000 following Trump speech, N.Cs Washington delegation weighs in

CNN poll finds 69 percent of Americans say they feel more optimistic about the future of the country after Trumps speech.

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. stocks opened at record intraday highs on Wednesday, with the Dow breaching the 21,000 mark for the first time ever as President Donald Trump’s speech reassured investors and bank stocks gained on higher chances of an interest rate hike this month.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 184.17 points, or 0.88 percent, at 20,996.41, the S&P 500 was up 18.65 points, or 0.789037 percent, at 2,382.29 and the Nasdaq composite was up 49.66 points, or 0.85 percent, at 5,875.10.
Analysts are crediting Tuesday nights speech from President Donald Trump before Congress for the Wednesday morning rally. In his first address to a joint session of Congress late Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to boost the U.S. economy with a “massive tax relief,” overhaul the Affordable Care Act and make a $1 trillion effort on infrastructure.
His comments underscored his pro-growth stance that has helped Wall Street hit record highs in a post-election rally.
However, the markets focused on comments from a handful of Federal Reserve officials, including the influential New York Fed President William Dudley, who said the case for tightening monetary policy had become “a lot more compelling.”
The speech showed a different side of Trump’s in his first address to Congress. This Trump was part deal-maker, part salesman, part statesman, asking for unity and driving home his populist message with calls to cut government regulations, support service members, police officers, and paid parental leave.
“President Trump has his finger on the pulse of the American people and delivered the bold, optimistic vision our nation needed to hear,” said Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) on Wednesday. “It’s refreshing to see a president ready and willing to seek common ground with Congress to fix the problems we face and make a positive difference in people’s lives. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump on our shared goals of promoting job creation, rebuilding our health care system, improving care for veterans and strengthening our national security.”TEAMWORK EMPHASIZED
Trump’s tone was a relief to Republicans, presenting a more presidential persona. Where five weeks ago at his inauguration, Trump slammed Washington’s politicians as out-of-touch elitists who prospered at the expense of the public, his message on Tuesday night was different: I need you, Republicans and Democrats alike.
Among the projects Trump proposed are a massive infrastructure and public works program; tax cuts for the middle class; immigration reform; a healthcare overhaul; an education bill that emphasized school choice. All of it would require congressional action, likely by different coalitions of conservatives, moderates and Democrats.
“This is our vision. This is our mission,” Trump said. “But we can only get there together.”
Trump, a Republican who has taunted Democrats over his 2016 election victory and publicly fumed as they held up his Cabinet nominees, did not criticize them this time. Repeatedly, he asked for their help, arguing that the country’s problems call for bipartisan solutions.
After weeks of attacks on the media, political rivals and the judges who ruled against his executive order to temporarily ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, Trump finally eased off, although his proposals were short on specifics.
“It was a softer tone and he gave a speech and not a tweet and that’s more suitable when you’re president of the United States,” said Democratic Representative Peter Welch. “The challenges are going to be the details on his policies.”
“He was presidential tonight in a way he has not been before this,” said Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak.
The address appeared to show some recognition by the White House that Trump’s bombastic go-it-alone style has its limits. After a parade of executive orders, Trump must now turn his attention to the big-ticket items on his agenda requiring legislative action.
“He’s done all he can unilaterally,” said Bradley Blakeman, a former aide to President George W. Bush. “Now he needs to pass bills.”
Even though Republicans control Congress, Blakeman said Trump needs Democrats to build a majority that would allow conservative Republicans to oppose some of his more centrist proposals, such as hefty infrastructure spending and talks on immigration reform.
“The president is as transactional a person as we’ve ever seen,” Blakeman said. “He understands that you might not like this deal, but I need you for three other deals.”
Throughout the speech Trump recognized Americans who have triumphed over adversity. However In the most emotional moment of the night, Trump singled out Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in a raid on al Qaeda in Yemen.
Owens, tears streaming down her face, clasped her hands and looked upward from her spot in the balcony as lawmakers and the president applauded her in the longest ovation of Trump’s hour-long speech.
Trump said the mission that her husband participated in obtained vital intelligence that could be used against Islamist militants, taking issue with news reports quoting U.S. officials who said little was gained from the raid.
Despite the softer tone, Trump’s divisive policies and months of hostile rhetoric will not be forgotten by his adversaries.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in a round of television interviews on Wednesday morning, dismissed Trump’s speech as detached from reality, saying the softer tone did not match the administration’s hard-line agenda presented so far.
“His speeches are populist. They’re aimed at the working folks who supported him. But his governing and what he does is hard right, favoring special interests over the working class,” Schumer told CBS.
Nancy Pelosi, the leading Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, told MSNBC that Trump gave a good sales pitch but has offered little in the way of concrete proposals: “All they have is rhetoric. We don’t have any reality in terms of any legislation.”
Congressional Democrats said they liked Trump’s infrastructure program, his childcare tax credit, his call to reduce the prices of prescription drugs, and his vow to preserve some key elements of former President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health insurance law.
Democrats remain troubled, among other things, by Trump’s desire to slash domestic programs to increase military spending, his tax reform plans, as well as his aggressive policy to deport illegal immigrants.
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) expressed his skepticism in a press released overnight. “If the President is serious about supporting America’s working families, that is a positive step. But action on jobs and infrastructure and a proposal to pay for this agenda remain unseen,” Butterfield said.
“However, in the first month of the Trump Administration, we have seen actions that would have a negative impact on the people of North Carolina. We have seen the President’s travel ban that undermined our nation’s values and violates our Constitution. We have seen a blueprint for immigration laws that target vulnerable populations and instill fear in our community. We have seen a tax reform plan that gives the wealthiest Americans a tax break on the backs of middle class families. And we have seen an attack on affordable health care, from the Affordable Care Act to Medicare and Medicaid.”
In coming days, the White House is likely to release a revised version of its travel ban, reigniting a controversy that overshadowed the first weeks of Trump’s presidency. This time Trump told Fox News he hope to improve the communication coming otu of the White House on key initiatives.
Mackowiak said Trump’s address could reverse his fortunes in a “crucial moment” for his presidency. “His public support will improve from this speech,” he said.Early signs showed Trump’s speech drew a positive response. A CNN/ORC poll found 57 percent of viewers thought Trump’s speech was very positive and 69 percent said they felt more optimistic about the future of the country.
“He’s lost his foot and mouth disease,” said Tom Beckwith, 71, of Seminole, Florida. “This was a tremendous speech. He’s cured.”