Major U.S. equity indexes were trading around all-time highs Monday to begin the final, holiday-shortened week of 2020 after President Donald Trump ended a standoff with Congress over legislation that would send aid to consumers and businesses.
What are major indexes doing?
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+0.64%rose 216 points, or 0.7 %, to 30,416. The blue-chip benchmark briefly climbed to 30,525.56, its first intraday record in 10 days.
- The S&P 500 SPX,
+0.83%added 31 points, or 0.8%, to 3,734, hitting an all-time intraday high of 3,737.82.
- The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+0.84%climbed 98 points, or 0.8%, to 12,903, touching an intraday record high of 12,921.64.
Stocks put in a mixed performance in holiday-shortened trading last week, with markets closed Friday for Christmas Day after an early finish on Thursday. The Dow eked out a rise of 0.1%, while the S&P 500 SPX,
What’s driving the market?
Trump’s decision late Sunday to sign the aid package came as a relief to stock-market investors who had been blindsided by his demands late last week that lawmakers raise checks to households to $2,000 from $600. Trump was pressured by lawmakers from both parties, who had negotiated the legislation with the administration.
The package also includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September, averting a federal government shutdown.
“While the benefits of the relief bill won’t be reflected in December data that we will see next week, the direction of least resistance remains higher,” said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower Bridge Advisors, in a note.
Meyer said much of the week’s trading should remain quiet with investors seeing clear resolution on a months long saga over a fiscal relief bill.
Indeed, trading is expected to remain thin this week as investors close out 2020. Markets will be shut Friday for the New Year’s Day holiday.
Bulls expect stocks to get a modest seasonal lift from a “Santa Claus rally,” referring to a phenomenon that runs the last week of December and the first two trading days of January.
Market participants will also closely eye the trajectory of COVID-19 after health care experts warned that a post-holiday bump in infections was likely after Americans traveled across the country for Christmas. The U.S. tally of coronavirus cases topped 19 million.
Which stocks are in focus?
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA,
+0.88%boosted its stock repurchase program late Sunday from $6 billion to $10 billion, and shares rose 0.3% despite an antitrust investigation by Chinese regulators. The company’s U.S.-listed shares BABA, +0.88%slumped 13% on Thursday in reaction to the antitrust scrutiny.
- Shares of Myovant Sciences MYOV,
+32.32%soared 27% Monday, after its parent Sumitovant Biopharma said Myovant will work with Pfizer Inc. PFE, -1.30%to jointly develop a treatment for men’s and women’s cancer in a deal worth up to $4.2 billion.
- Novavax Inc. NVAX,
-3.41%said Monday it is starting a late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate with plans to enroll up to 30,000 volunteers at about 115 sites in the U.S. and Mexico. Its shares were down more than 3%.
How are other markets are faring?
- The 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y,
0.948%was up 2.4 basis points to 0.95% as haven demand eased. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP,
+0.66%rose 0.7%, while U.K. markets remained closed for the holidays. Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +0.74%closed 0.7% higher, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.02%was flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, -0.27%fell 0.3%.
- The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY,
+0.05%, a gauge of the dollar’s strength against its major rivals, was flat.
- February gold futures GCG21,
-0.12%were up 0.1% to 1,883.80 an ounce. U.S. benchmark crude futures CL.1, -0.19%were down 0.1% to $48.20 a barrel.