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Dow rises in excess of 200 points, hits record very high as Wall Street kicks off last week of 2020

 Stocks traded higher on Monday in front of the final trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump unexpectedly signed an economic help bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 207 points, or 0.7 %. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7 %, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6 %. All three major indexes hit record highs at the open.

President Donald Trump signed a $900 billion Covid 19 relief bill into law, averting a government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. The signing came days after Trump suggested he will veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, instead of $600.

All the bluster neither drastically changed to perspective for stocks, as markets still expected (and ultimately received) stimulus of a minimum of $900 billion to pass, wrote Tom Essaye, founding father of The Sevens Report.

The five pillars of the rally (Federal stimulus, FOMC stimulus, vaccine rollout, divided government and no double dip-recession) re-main largely in place, and until that changes, the moderate and longer term perspective for stocks will be good, Essaye included.

Apple led the Dow higher, rising 2.5 %. Tech as well as materials were the best performing sectors in the S&P 500, gaining 0.9 % along with 0.8 %, respectively.

Wall Street is actually coming off a quiet holiday week wherein the key averages had been flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several investors took the chips off to the year-end. The 30-stock Dow eked out a 0.1 % gain for the very same period.

Profit-taking might possibly ramp up in the last week of the year, which has so far seen surprisingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has acquired 15.4 % year to date, although the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this year as investors favored high-growth technology names while in the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the country may see a surge in new Covid-19 infections following Christmas along with New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have started the distribution process this month. So much over one million individuals in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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