Stocks Surge into Christmas Despite Stimulus Drama

A government shutdown could be looming

Digital Content Manager
Dec 24, 2020 at 1:47 PM
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Stocks finished with a flourish to end the holiday-shortened Christmas Eve session, despite news that House Republicans blocked Democrats' attempt to enact $2,000 payments to Americans. The disagreement will likely create a lapse in unemployment aid, and could lead to a government shutdown. The Dow finished with a 70-point win, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both registered modest gains. For the week, the S&P 500 registered a loss, white the other two snuck in a marginal win.

Meanwhile, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) logged its third-straight loss, and closed at its lowest point since Dec. 8. Overseas, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) finally reached a historic post-Brexit trade deal following months of negotiations, and more than four years after the country decided to leave the bloc.

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

  • Tidal acquisition rumors send Square stock higher.
  • Nikola stock extends losses after terminating a key partnership. 
  • Plus, Alibaba stock cracks under investigation pressure; how the hacking incidents impact FEYE; and is this media stock still worth watching?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,199.87) added 70 points, or 0.2% for the day, and 0.06% for the week. Visa (V) led the Dow components with a 1.6% rise, while Boeing (BA) paced the laggards, falling 1.2%.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,703.06) rose 13.1 points, or 0.4% for the day, and lost 0.2% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC -12,804.73) was up 33.6 points, or 0.3%, for the day, and 0.4% for the week. 

Lastly, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 21.53) dropped 1.8 points, or 7.6% for the day, and 0.2% for the week.

Closing summary Dec 24

nyse nasdaq dec 24

  1. Testing delays and staff shortages are limiting the distribution of Eli Lilly's (LLY) antibody treatment, which is effective against COVID-19 if used early. (CNBC)
  2. The U.K. expanded lockdowns after a second, even more contagious strain of COVID-19 was detected, likely due to travel from South Africa. (MarketWatch) 
  3. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plummets on anti-monopoly probe.
  4.  FireEye stock takes a breather amid hacking incident developments.
  5.  Should you still be keeping tabs on this major media stock?

There were no notable earnings reports today.

Gold Gains on Christmas Eve

Oil prices were slightly higher heading into the Christmas holiday, but underwhelming trading volumes left the commodity exposed to pullbacks. In addition, investors remain unsure whether or not U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a new stimulus package into law, and are concerned coronavirus surges across the world could hurt demand. As a result, February-dated crude added 11 cents or 0.2%, to settle at $48.23 per barrel. For the week, it shaved off 3.2%.

Gold prices finished higher as well, putting an end to a three-day losing streak as the dollar grew weaker on the back of disappointing U.S. economic data. As a result, February-dated gold added $5.10, or 0.3% for the day, to settle at $1,883.20 an ounce. For the week, the safe-haven asset shed 0.3%.

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