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Dow rises more than 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 help bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 207 points, or maybe 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, rather than $600.

Most of the bluster neither significantly 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 medium and longer term perspective for stocks will be positive, Essaye added.

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

Wall Street is actually coming off a peaceful holiday week where the main averages were flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several investors took the chips off into the year-end. The 30 stock Dow eked out a 0.1 % gain for the same period.

Profit-taking might possibly ramp up in the very last week of the year, which has thus far seen surprisingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has gotten 15.4 % year to date, even though the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this season as investors favored high-growth technology labels while in the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the nation can see a surge in new Covid-19 infections following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have begun the distribution process this month. And so much over one million folks in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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