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

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 207 points, or perhaps 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 many days after Trump suggested he would veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, rather than $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, founder 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 positive, Essaye added.

Apple led the Dow higher, rising 2.5 %. Tech & components had been the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, gaining 0.9 % and 0.8 %, respectively.

Wall Street is actually coming off a quiet holiday week wherein the major averages had been level. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as some investors procured the chips off into the year end. The 30 stock Dow eked out a 0.1 % gain for the same period.

Profit-taking might ramp up in the very last week of the year, that has so far seen astonishingly good returns. The S&P 500 has gotten 15.4 % year to date, although the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this season as investors favored high growth technology labels while in the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the nation can see a surge in new Covid 19 infections after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have started the distribution process this month. And so much more than one million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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