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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 advance of the final trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump suddenly signed an economic relief 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 days after Trump suggested he will veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 direct payments to Americans, instead of $600.

Most 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, 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 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 & 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 in which the major averages were level. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several investors took the chips off to the year end. The 30-stock Dow eked out a 0.1 % gain for the very same period.

Profit-taking might ramp up in the very last week of the year, that has up to this point seen amazingly strong 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 season as investors favored high growth technology labels while in the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the nation could 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. So far over one million folks in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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