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4:20 pm: Traders get late Christmas present with Monday gains

Traders kicked off the final week of 2020 with a bang, pushing the Dow to an intraday record high of 30,525 and ending up 204 points, 0.7%, just under 30,404.

The Nasdaq closed up 94.7 points, 0.7%, at 12,899.4, and the S&P 500 ended 32.3 points higher, a 0.9% gain, at 3,735.4.

The major indices appear set to lock in solid gains since the beginning of the year. The Nasdaq has rocketed 43.3% percent so far in 2020, due in part to the growth work-from-home technology, the S&P has gained more than 15% and the Dow is up 6.5%, per CNBC.

12:55 pm: Wall Street jumps after holiday hiatus

The DJIA crossed the 30,500 point threshold for the first time Monday morning. After a little profit taking, the index was up 215 points, 0.7%, ar 30, 414.9.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 110 points, 0.9%, to 2,914.5, and the S&P 500 picked up 32 points, 0.9%, to 3,735.9.

Traders seem pleased with President Trump’s decision to sign a $2.3 trillion spending package, which includes $600 individual payments — despite prior threats to veto the bill.

Among the biggest gainers was Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which improved 3.2% to $136.20 and drove the Dow higher.

9:40 am: US stocks open higher  

US stocks opened higher on Monday after President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan $900 billion stimulus package on Sunday evening after objecting to the bill earlier last week.

The Dow rose about 163 points, or 0.5% to 30,363.29, while the S&P 500 rose 0.7%. The Nasdaq outperformed slightly and advanced 0.8% shortly after market open.

This week will mark the last in calendar year 2020, and it will be holiday-shortened yet again. The stock and bond markets in the US will close all day on Friday in observation of New Year’s Day.

8 am: Wall Street to open higher as Trump signs bill that includes stimulus deal

US stocks are expected to rise on Monday, the first session back following the holidays after President Donald Trump signed-off on a $2.3 trillion spending package and as global investors continued to celebrate a last-minute trade deal clinched between Britain and the European Union on Christmas Eve

Earlier on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.7% and China stocks also rose, helped by strong industrial profit data. UK and Canadian markets are closed on Monday for the carried-over Boxing Day holiday.

Dow Jones futures were up over 140 points, edging nearer record levels, while the S&P 500 – also near record highs – and Nasdaq futures were trading higher, though less prominently.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade commented: “The S&P 500 posted remained almost flat last week, mostly because of the shorter holiday week, and this week isn’t going to be much different as many traders are away for the holiday period.

“Traders are likely to book some more profit before the year-end, and if this happens, it will be no surprise as the Nasdaq is up more than 40% year-to-date. So taking some chips off the table makes perfect sense.”

He added: “Traders are pleased that President Trump has finally given up on his demand, and he has signed the coronavirus aid package bill. Trump wanted to increase the stimulus cheque payment to $2,000 to Americans, but he failed to support lawmakers.”

The rollouts of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines were also bolstering hopes of more economic normalisation next year, with Europe launching a mass vaccination drive on Sunday.

“Nearly one million Americans have received covid-19 vaccines, and pharma companies like  Moderna and Pfizer are trying their best to keep up with demand. Dr Anthony Fauci has already warned that it is highly likely that coronavirus numbers may spike even more in the US after the Christmas period. If this becomes a reality, it means tougher coronavirus restrictions, which are likely to translate into lower economic activity.

“That for now has offset alarm over a new, highly infectious variant of the virus that has been raging in England and was confirmed in many other countries, including Japan, France and Canada, over the weekend,” Avatrade’s Aslam noted.

On foreign exchange markets, the dollar index fell 0.2% as investors bet on continued recovery in the global economy and a prolonged period of loose US monetary policy. In bond markets, 10-year US Treasuries yields rose to 0.9514%.

Bitcoin, which hit a new record high over the weekend, was up another 2.2% at $26,876, bringing the total value of the cryptocurrency in circulation to over $500 billion.