Today's Stock Market News & Events: 12/31/2020

Today's market-moving economic data and earnings schedule

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Stocks bounced back on Wednesday, but not enough to hit new highs. A highly contagious strain of COVID-19 was identified in the U.S. and investors were shaken mid-session yesterday. More negative sentiment came from a lack of urgency in the Senate to vote on a bill that could increase stimulus payments to $2,000 from $600. Boosting sentiment, on the flip side, was the U.K's approval of AstraZeneca's (AZN) COVID-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford. The U.S. is currently averaging more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths and 180,000 cases each day, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 30,409.56) added 73.9 points for the day on Wednesday. The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,732.04) rose 5 points and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 12,870.00) jumped 19.8 points yesterday. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 22.77) lost 0.3 point during Wednesday's trading session.

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Happy New Year's Eve, traders! It's officially the last trading session of 2020. The market will be cooling off again today, with only the last round of jobless claims data of 2020 to unpack.

There are no companies slated to release quarterly earnings reports today, December 31.

There were also no companies that reported quarterly earnings yesterday, December 30, so there is also no earnings report recap today.

Looking ahead to next week (and next year!), the first week of 2021 will be packed full of economic indicators for investors to digest. The weeks starts off with the Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) and the ISM manufacturing index. The non-manufacturing index, as well as the first jobless claims data of the year will round out the week. Plus, traders will be keeping a close eye on the ADP employment report, as well as the employment rate and average hourly earnings updates. The Fed's latest meeting minutes are also on tap next week.

The U.S. stock market has a shortened schedule again this week, with only four full trading days that ends today. Tomorrow, January 1, the U.S. stock market will be closed in observance of New Year's Day. Normal trading will resume on Monday, January 4.

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