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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 in front of the last trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump unexpectedly signed an economic relief bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 207 points, or maybe 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, instead of $600.

Most of the bluster neither drastically changed to outlook for stocks, as markets still expected (and eventually 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 mainly in place, and until that changes, longer term view and the medium for stocks will be positive, Essaye added.

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

Wall Street is actually coming off a peaceful holiday week in which the major averages had been flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as some 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 might ramp up in the last week of the season, that has thus far seen amazingly strong 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 season as investors favored high-growth technology labels during the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the nation might see a surge in new Covid 19 infections following Christmas along with New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have begun the distribution process this month. And so far over one million folks in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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