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

 Stocks traded higher on Monday ahead of the very last trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump suddenly 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 3 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 immediate payments to Americans, instead of $600.

Most of the bluster neither considerably 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 5 pillars of the rally (Federal stimulus, FOMC stimulus, vaccine rollout, divided government and no double dip recession) re-main mainly 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 components had been the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, gaining 0.9 % and 0.8 %, respectively.

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

Profit-taking could ramp up in the final week of the year, that has thus far seen astonishingly good returns. The S&P 500 has gained 15.4 % year to date, even though the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this year 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. 2 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have started the distribution process this month. And so far over one million folks in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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