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Democracy is burning, but stock markets are on fire. Here’s why

Chaos reigned in Washington yesterday as a mob of pro-Trump supporters, galvanized by a fire-and-brimstone rally for the president, descended upon Capitol Hill and broke through its barricades in a stunning insurrection that lasted until nightfall.

But despite what many saw as a great collapse—of building security, of the sacred rites of the Constitution, of American democracy itself—the stock market, at least, did not collapse, but instead soared to new heights like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The Dow Jones index closed Wednesday at a record high, surpassing 31,000 points for the first time ever, hours after the mob had taken the Senate floor. The S&P 500 index also reached an intraday record and closed in the black.

Why, though? Among economists, the consensus seems simple: Stocks trade on futures, not presents. And despite yesterday’s violence and unrest, several key developments occurred:

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