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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 ahead of the final trading week of 2020 and as President Donald Trump suddenly 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 would veto the legislation, demanding $2,000 immediate payments to Americans, rather than $600.

All the bluster neither considerably changed to perspective 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 moderate 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 % as well as 0.8 %, respectively.

Wall Street is coming off a peaceful holiday week wherein the main averages were flat. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 % last week as several 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 could ramp up in the final week of the year, which has so far seen astonishingly 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 names during the continued Covid 19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the country could see a surge in new Covid-19 infections following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. 2 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have started the distribution process this month. So much over one million people in the U.S. are vaccinated.

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