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

 Stocks traded higher on Monday in advance of the last 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 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 would veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 immediate payments to Americans, instead of $600.

Most of the bluster neither significantly 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 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 moderate and longer-term outlook for stocks will be positive, Essaye added.

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

Wall Street is coming off a quiet holiday week in which the major averages were flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several 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 final week of the year, which has up to this point seen astonishingly strong returns. The S&P 500 has gained 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 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 after Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have started the distribution process this month. So far over one million individuals in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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