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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 advance of the final trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump suddenly signed an economic comfort 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 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 immediate payments to Americans, rather than $600.

All 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, founder 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 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 actually coming off a peaceful holiday week where the key averages had been flat. 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 same period.

Profit-taking could ramp up in the final week of the season, which has so far seen surprisingly good returns. The S&P 500 has acquired 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 labels during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the united states can see a surge in new Covid 19 infections following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have started the distribution process this month. And so far over one million individuals in the U.S. have been vaccinated.

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