Finance News

Within the shortened Christmas Eve session, shares rise increased

US stocks rose slightly on Thursday as Wall Street tried to end the week at a high level with shortened holidays.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points while the S&P 500 gained 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%. Technology was the best performing sector, up 0.7%, while energy and finance lagged. The trading volume was low on Christmas Eve.

The market closes early at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday and will be closed on Friday at Christmas.

Alibaba's shares fell 14% after it was revealed that the China-based e-commerce giant is the target of a new antitrust investigation by the Chinese government.

House Republicans blocked Thursday's attempt by Democrats to make $ 2,000 direct payments as the fate of a congressional coronavirus bailout package rests in limbo. The move came after President Donald Trump slammed the $ 900 billion bill and labeled it an inappropriate "disgrace" for sending $ 600 instead of $ 2,000 checks.

The S&P 500 is down 0.3% so far this week as profit-taking was carried out by year-end. Political uncertainty also dampened investor sentiment during the holiday week. The 30-share Dow is flat for the week.

The Nasdaq is well on its way to end the week higher after hitting an intraday high in the previous session. The Russell 2000, which also hit a record high on Wednesday, is about to have a successful week. Amid the strength of small-cap names, the index is well on its way to its eighth straight week of earnings – the longest weekly earnings streak since February 2019.

"The markets do not care too much about Trump's criticism of the stimulus package, as a formal veto is seen as unlikely. [And] the joint legislation on the economy and budget was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate with a veto-safe majority," said Adam Vital Knowledge's Crisafulli said in a note. "Even if Trump successfully vetoed the measure, Biden will become president in just 27 days and can then sign it."

Investors also closely monitored progress in the introduction of the vaccine. The CDC said just over a million shots had been administered as of Wednesday, around 19 million doses less than earlier health officials predictions for December.

With only five trading days a year left, the Nasdaq is well on its way to becoming the clear winner. It is currently up around 42%. The Russell 2000 gained 20% over the year while the Dow and S&P 500 gained 5.6% and 14.2%, respectively.

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