Stocks closed at record highs Monday as Wall Street entered the final week of 2020. President Trump signed a $900 billion economic aid package that helps reduce uncertainty as governments re-impose travel and business curbs in response to a new coronavirus variant. The measure also includes money for other government functions through September, but Trump expressed frustration that payments to the public weren’t bigger. The S&P 500 jumped 32.30 points, or 0.87%, to 3,725.36. The Dow Jones rose 204.10 points, or 0.68%, to 30.403.97, and the Nasdaq closed at 12,899.42, up 94.69 points, or 0.74%.
"By and large, it’s a kind of broad-based optimism, so-far-so-good on the vaccine rollout, and the stimulus bill to bridge the gap," Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird, tells the AP. "It’s really just a continuation of the broader strength that we’ve seen over the last couple of months." Stocks are getting a seasonal tailwind, too, Mayfield says. The market tends to climb in the final five days of trading in December and the first two trading days in January, a phenomenon known as the "Santa Claus rally." Since 1950, the S&P 500 index has risen an average of 1.3% during those seven days. Trading is expected to be light this week, as most fund managers and investors have closed their books for the year. It will be another holiday-shortened week, with New Year's Day on Friday.
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