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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 ahead of the 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.

All of the bluster neither considerably changed to outlook for stocks, as markets still expected (and eventually 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, longer term view and the moderate for stocks will be good, Essaye included.

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

Wall Street is coming off a peaceful holiday week wherein the key averages were flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as some investors procured the chips off to 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 season, which has so far seen astonishingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has gotten 15.4 % year to date, while the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this season as investors favored high-growth technology names during 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 along with New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have begun the distribution process this month. And so far over one million folks in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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