Stocks Start December Strong Despite Stimulus Stalemate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a new stimulus plan

Digital Content Manager
Dec 1, 2020 at 4:31 PM
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The last month of the year is off to a strong start, with both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finishing higher and notching record closes. Not wanting to miss out, the Dow added roughly 185 points following its best November since 1987. Investor sentiment got a boost earlier today, after lawmakers proposed a $908 billion stimulus plan, including $200 billion for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected the bipartisan package, continuing the stalemate.

Elsewhere, data from Johns Hopkins University showed the U.S. has reached more than 13 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, while Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury secretary, warned that "inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn, causing yet more devastation.”

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Qualcomm stock surged after revealing a new smartphone chip.
  • Bull notes pushed this chip stock to record levels.
  • Plus, PayPal stock could be a solid pick; pharma stock drops after deal draws criticism; and the right time to weigh in on XOM.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 29,823.92) gained 185.3 points, or 0.6% on the day. Apple (AAPL) led the Dow components with a 3.1% rise, while Salesforce.com (CRM) paced the laggards, falling 4.5%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,662.45) earned 80.2 points, or 1.1%, for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 12,355.11) was up156.4 points, or 1.3% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 20.77) fell 0.2 point, or 1% for the day.

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  1. President Donald Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin looking to invalidate over 221,000 ballots in the state's most Democratic counties. (CNBC)
  2. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell seem supportive of a new $908 billion coronavirus relief package. (MarketWatch)
  3. Here is why PayPal stock could be a solid pick for investors.
  4. This pharmaceutical stock slipped after a new deal drew criticism.
  5. Is now the right time for traders to buy the dip on Exxon Mobile stock?

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Gold Surges from Five-Month Low to Three-Week High

Oil prices fell to their lowest close in over a week today, after a decision to cut outputs from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) was pushed to Thursday. If a compromise is not reached soon, analysts worry oil prices will continue to slide with each passing day. As a result, January-dated crude shed 79 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $44.55 a barrel.

Meanwhile, gold prices finished higher, surging from a nearly five-month low to register their biggest daily jump in three weeks. The move was attributed to manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), and the prospect of new coronavirus relief potentially soon. In response, February-dated gold rose $38, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,818.90 an ounce for the day.

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