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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 suddenly 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 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 will veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, rather than $600.

Most of the bluster neither significantly changed to outlook 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 mainly in place, and until that changes, the moderate and longer term outlook for stocks will be good, Essaye added.

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

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

Profit-taking could ramp up in the final week of the year, which has thus far seen surprisingly good returns. The S&P 500 has gained 15.4 % year to date, while the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this year as investors favored high growth technology names during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the country could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have started the distribution process this month. So far over one million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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