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

 Stocks traded higher on Monday ahead of the final trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump unexpectedly signed an economic relief 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 days after Trump suggested he will veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 immediate payments to Americans, rather than $600.

All of the bluster neither substantially 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 mainly in place, and until that changes, the moderate and longer term outlook for stocks will be positive, Essaye included.

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

Wall Street is actually coming off a quiet holiday week where the key averages had been flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several 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 might ramp up in the last week of the year, that has so far 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 continuing 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. 2 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have begun the distribution process this month. So much over one million men and women in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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