US markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will be open for half a day on Friday, closing at 1pm Eastern Time.
US official data showed that durable goods orders (preliminary reading) increased 1.3% on month in October (+0.8% expected). Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.7%.
The upbeat mood earlier in the week had been set off by news of the development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments.
Amid the improved outlook, investors bet that forthcoming virus vaccines would ease the pain of industries hit hardest by the pandemic, from tourism to energy.
In Japan, authorities asked restaurants and bars to close early, and people to refrain from travel.
Tesla's market capitalization topped the $500 billion mark for the first time, as investors rush to the stock ahead of an expected surge in demand from its inclusion in the S&P 500 stock index.
The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 106 new highs and five new lows.
Data also showed USA consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of domestic economic activity, increased solidly in October, but personal income fell.
Biden to unveil cabinet picks and states to certify his win
Chatfield was among seven Republican legislators who met with Trump for about an hour in the White House on Friday. It remains unclear whether the process in MI will work as state law dictates.
Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income, said that a President Biden "will bring a more conventional style to policymaking which will also help reduce uncertainties in markets and help people know what US policy is going to be".
Gap led the way lower in the S&P 500, falling 18.4%, after the clothing retailer's third-quarter results fell short of Wall Street's forecasts.
The Dow is up 1,334.03 points, or 4.7%.
Still, even amid the risk-on mood, bitcoin was flat at $19,179, staying within sight of its record peak of $19,666 after November gains of almost 40%. The index, which is on a three-day winning streak, last hit an all-time high on September 2.
Asian markets are poised to follow USA stocks higher as uncertainty over the transition in presidential power starts to lift.
Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. At the same time, the government said that income, which provides the fuel for consumer spending, fell 0.7% in October.
Global energy shares have risen nearly 34% so far this month, on track for their best month on record as crude prices rally. Brent crude, the global standard, fell 61 cents to $47.92 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar remained subdued against other major currencies, as the ICE Dollar Index struggled at levels around the key 92.00 level. The euro cost $1.1906, up from $1.1885.