Stock market hits intraday records as Trump signs relief package

Major U.S. equity indexes all hit intraday records at the start of Monday to begin the final, holiday-shortened week of 2020 after President Donald Trump ended a standoff with Congress over legislation that would send aid to consumers and businesses.

What are major indexes doing?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.98% rose 202 points, or 0.7%, to 30,409. The blue-chip benchmark briefly climbed to 30,409.94, its first intraday record in 10 days.
  • The S&P 500 SPX, +0.93% added 27 points, or 0.8%, to 3,730, hitting an all-time intraday high of 3,731.38.
  • The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.61% climbed 90 points, or 0.7%, to 12,895, touching an intraday record high of 12,893.82.

Stocks put in a mixed performance in holiday-shortened trading last week, with markets closed Friday for Christmas Day after an early finish on Thursday. The Dow eked out a rise of 0.1%, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.93% gave up 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%. Major indexes ended Thursday not far below all-time highs.

What’s driving the market?

Trump’s decision late Sunday to sign the aid package came as a relief to investors who had been blindsided by his demands late last week that lawmakers raise checks to households to $2,000 from $600. Trump was pressured by lawmakers from both parties, who had negotiated the legislation with the administration.

The package also includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September, averting a federal government shutdown.

“We can finally breathe a big sigh of relief and say that chaos over the stimulus bill is over,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, in a note.

“A selloff has been averted and this could provide one last boost to risk assets in the last four trading days of the year,” he said. “However, investors shouldn’t get overexcited as most of it is probably already priced in.”

See: Stock-market pros are having a tough time imagining an S&P 500 slump in 2021

Trading is expected to remain thin this week as investors close out 2020. Markets will be shut Friday for the New Year’s Day holiday.

Bulls expect stocks to get a seasonal lift from a “Santa Claus rally,” referring to a phenomenon that runs the last week of December and the first two trading days of January.

Read: ‘Santa Claus’ rally has begun. Why few 7-session stretches are better for the stock market

Which stocks are in focus?
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. 9988, -7.98% boosted its stock repurchase program late Sunday from $6 billion to $10 billion, but shares fell 1.3% amid an antitrust investigation by Chinese regulators. The company’s U.S.-listed shares BABA, +0.24% slumped 13% on Thursday in reaction to the antitrust scrutiny.
  • Shares of Myovant Sciences  MYOV, +23.91% soared over 28% Monday, after its parent Sumitovant Biopharma said Myovant will work with Pfizer Inc. PFE, -0.68%  to jointly develop a treatment for men’s and women’s cancer in a deal worth up to $4.2 billion.
  • Novavax Inc. NVAX, -4.38% said Monday it is starting a late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate with plans to enroll up to 30,000 volunteers at about 115 sites in the U.S. and Mexico.
How are other markets are faring?