The S&P 500 closes on one other document day on Friday, gaining 2% over the week
Stocks rose on Friday as traders closed a strong week of decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.
The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to end the day at 3,638.35, which was a record high. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.9% to 12,205.85 and also closed at an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 37.90 points, or 0.1%, at 29,910.37. The session on Friday ended at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Dow and S&P 500 rose 2.2% and 2.3%, respectively, over the week. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, posted a weekly gain of almost 3%. The Dow jumped to an all-time high earlier in the week, breaking above 30,000 for the first time, and hitting an all-time high.
“What we are witnessing today, this week and this month, is a continuation of the growing optimism,” said Mike Zigmont, director of trading and research for Harvest Volatility Management. “The environment for risk-weighted drugs just got better,” as drug makers release more positive Covid-19 vaccine data and risks on the political front subside.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street’s favorite fear indicator, fell below 20 on Friday for the first time since late February.
Retailers led early gains as investors bet on a strong holiday season. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) rose 0.9% to hit an all-time high. Etsy stocks fell 10.7% and Gamestop 9%. Amazon stock rose 0.3% and Shopify rose 1.5% after Adobe Analytics announced that online sales jumped to a record $ 5.1 billion on Thanksgiving.
Also helpful were comments from President Donald Trump, who said he would leave the White House if the electoral college voted for President-elect Joe Biden.
“I will be safe. I will be safe. And you know that,” said Trump. However, he added that it was difficult for him to admit because “we know there has been massive fraud”. However, Trump did not provide any concrete evidence of widespread electoral fraud.
Historic month for stocks
Friday’s gains added to the market’s surge this month, triggered in part by a string of positive data from coronavirus vaccine trials.
In early November, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna also said that his drug was highly effective in one study.
These data helped the Dow gain 12.9% in November, making it its largest monthly gain since January 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 11.3% and 11.9% respectively in November. Meanwhile, the small-cap Russell 2000 is on the way to its best month ever, with a plus of around 20%.
The strong gains in November were led by battered value stocks as positive vaccine news raised hopes of a strong economic recovery.
The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) is up 14.6% this month. Its growth counterpart, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IMF), has gained 10.1% during this period.
“As we move closer to this ultimate healthcare solution, market participation will gradually expand as this pandemic moves into some of the worst-hit sectors,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director, US Bank Wealth Management. “If we turn the coroner around, pent-up economic activity can return.”
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