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

 Stocks traded higher on Monday in front of the last trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump unexpectedly 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 days after Trump suggested he will veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 immediate payments to Americans, instead of $600.

All of the bluster neither drastically changed to outlook 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 5 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 view for stocks will be good, Essaye added.

Apple led the Dow higher, rising 2.5 %. Tech and supplies had been the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500, gaining 0.9 % along with 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 some 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 ramp up in the very last week of the season, which has so far seen amazingly good returns. The S&P 500 has gained 15.4 % year to date, although the Dow has climbed 6.4 %. The Nasdaq has soared 43.2 % this year as investors favored high-growth technology labels while in the continued Covid 19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the nation may see a surge in new Covid 19 infections following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Two vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have started the distribution process this month. So much more than one million men and women in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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