Dow Notches Record High as $900B Stimulus Package Stokes Recovery Hopes

© Reuters © Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow closed at an all-time high on Monday, as President Donald Trump signed off on the $900 billion stimulus bill, averting a government shutdown and giving the economic recovery a much-needed boost.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.68%, or 204 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.87%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.74%. All three major averages closed at record highs.

Trump had threatened to delay signing the relief package after demanding that Congress amend the bill to boost direct payments to $2,000 from $600 a week to support unemployed Americans.

"I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more," Trump said.

The House on Monday will vote on a bill to boost direct payments to $2,000, but even if it passes, many expect the proposal will not be successful in the GOP-controlled Senate.

The stimulus package is expected to cushion the hit to the economic recovery from restrictions across the country amid efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

"And the reason I’m concerned and my colleagues in public health are concerned also is that we very well might see a post-seasonal, in the sense of Christmas, New Year’s, surge, and, as I have described it, as a surge upon a surge, because, if you look at the slope, the incline of cases that we have experienced as we have gone into the late fall and soon-to-be-early winter, it is really quite troubling," top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr Anthorny Fauci said Sunday on CNN.

As well as stimulus efforts, progress on further Covid-19 vaccines boosted sentiment on risk assets.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN)'s vaccine is expected to get the regulatory nod from UK health authorities later this week, while Novavax 's (NASDAQ:NVAX) vaccine candidate got late-stage clinical trials underway in the U.S. and Mexico.

Travel-related sectors were boosted by the positive stimulus and vaccine news, with airlines, cruise lines, and casino stocks higher.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) rose 2%, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) was up 3%, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) climbed 4%

Tech also powered ahead as the Fab 5 stocks continued to rack up gains. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) traded higher, with the latter up 3%.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) cut losses to end in the green after increasing its share buyback program to $10 billion from $6 billion amid an ongoing probe from Chinese regulators into the company over allegation of monopolistic practices.

In other news, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is set acquire CxLoyalty's credit card rewards and travel business to take advantage of an expected rebound in travel demand next year, CNBC reported.

Original Article

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