COVID-19 Relief Bill Fails to Draw Wall Street Enthusiasm

U.S. consumer confidence data also missed analysts' estimates

Digital Content Manager
Dec 22, 2020 at 4:29 PM
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The long-awaited passing of a $900 billion stimulus package did very little to change stocks today, despite including $600 direct payments to Americans. The Dow dropped roughly 200 points, while the S&P 500 remained flat. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a modest win thanks in part to outsized gains from FAANG name Apple (AAPL).

Elsewhere, investors are still concerned about a fast-spreading strain of COVID-19 stemming from the United Kingdom, though World Health Organization (WHO) leaders said both Pfizer's (PFE) and Moderna's (MRNA) vaccines would likely protect against it. In terms of economic data, the last gross domestic product (GDP) reading of the year came in better-than-expected, while U.S. consumer confidence data missed Wall Street's estimates. 

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

  • A lofty Piper Sandler bull note sent this biotech stock higher. 
  • L Brands stock has more room to run, if history is any indicator.
  • Plus, Peloton stock scores post-acquisition record; FUBO's rally could be just getting started; and medical supply stock named 2021 pick. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,015.51) fell 200.9 points, or 0.7% for the day. Apple (AAPL) led the Dow components with a 2.8% rise, while Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) paced the laggards, falling 3.4%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,687.26) fell 7.7 points, or 0.2% for the day. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC -12,807.92) was up 65.4 points, or 0.5%, for the day.

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 24.23) dropped 0.9 point, or 3.7% for the day.

 Closing summary Dec 22

nyse nasdaq dec 22

  1. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the new COVID-19 strain first detected in the U.K. could be circulating in the United States. (CNBC)
  2. U.S. employers can mandate workers get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to new guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (MarketWatch) 
  3. Peloton stock nabs fresh record after buyout buzz attracts bulls.
  4. Analyst says FUBO's impressive rally is just now getting started.
  5. Medical supply stock rises after becoming J.P. Morgan's 2021 pick

Earnings Dec 22

UVOLDec22

Gold Prices Plummet as U.S. Dollar Regains Strength

Oil prices finished lower again today, as investors remained concerned energy demand could be impacted by the new strain of COVID-19. In addition to the United Kingdom, other countries have also reported a fast-spreading variant of the virus, including Australia. In response, February-dated crude shaved off 95 cents, or 2%, to settle at $47.02 per barrel.

Gold prices plummeted as well, as the U.S. dollar continued to gain strength and equities attempted to recover from the previous session's coronavirus headwinds. However, investors remained optimistic that the new stimulus package would devalue the currency. Regardless, February-dated gold fell $12.50, or 0.6% for the day, to settle at $1,870.30 an ounce.

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