Benchmarks Nab Record Closes as Lawmakers Hint at Close Stimulus

Worse-than-expected jobless claims kept larger gains in check

Digital Content Manager
Dec 17, 2020 at 4:41 PM
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The three major benchmarks scored modest wins on Thursday, brushing off a dismal jobless claims update as lawmakers rushed to hammer out a $900 stimulus package before the end of the year. In Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a deal was within reach. As a result, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all logged record closes, for the latter two's fourth-straight win. Even the small-cap Russell 2000 Index (RUT) got in on the fun, with a record close of its own.

Elsewhere, coronavirus cases are climbing faster than ever before, with a seven-day average of more than 215,000 new infections each day, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Investors are also concerned renewed virus-related restrictions across the country may negatively impact parts of the economy, specifically the labor market.

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

  • Lennar stock surged after blowout earnings results.
  • One Tesla competitor took a breather today.
  • Plus, General Mills stock bests analysts' estimates; a wrestling giant's earnings history unpacked; and top-line beat pushes RAD to new record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI -30,303.37) rose 148.8 points, or 0.5% on the day. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) led the Dow components with a 2.6% rise, while Boeing (BA) paced the laggards, falling 2%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,722.48) added 21.3 points, or 0.6% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 12,764.75) was up 106.6 points, or 0.8% for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.93) lost 0.6 point, or 2.5% for the day.

 Closing Summary Dec 17

nyse nasdaq dec 17

  1. Google (GOOGL) is getting hit with another antitrust lawsuit, which claims the company illegally maintained a monopoly in general and search advertising. (CNBC)
  2. Mortgage rates hit a new record low for the 15th time this year, after the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates low until further notice. (MarketWatch)
  3. General Mills stock moves higher after beating analysts' estimates.
  4. Unpacking this wresting giant's impressive earnings history.
  5. Surprise top-line beat pushes Rite Aid stock to record highs



Oil Prices Nab Fourth Consecutive Win, Nine-Month Record

Oil prices finished the session higher today, extending what is now a four-day winning streak, and reaching their highest level in over nine months. The positive price action came as lawmakers got closer to finalizing a stimulus deal in Congress. Additionally, prices are getting boost from strong demand in Asia, as well as a weak U.S. dollar. In response, January-dated crude rose 54 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $48.36 per barrel.

Meanwhile, gold prices were higher as well, hitting a nearly six-month record. The commodity has the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy to thank, as well as the dollar's steep decline and renewed stimulus hopes. What's more, the metal was seen trading well above the  $1,900 mark, which some consider to be a bullish signal. In turn, February-dated gold added $31.30, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,902 an ounce.


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