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Dow Ends 2020 at Record High as Bulls Continue Stampede on Final Day

Stock MarketsDec 31, 2020 04:07PM ET
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© Reuters

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The Dow ended the pandemic-fueled year at a record high Thursday, as bullish sentiment on Wall Street continued on the final day of trade, with analysts touting more of the same in 2021.   

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.65%, or 196 points, ending the year up more than 15%. The S&P 500 was up 0.26%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.14%. 

"In 2020, stock investors experienced the final stage of the longest bull market in history, the shortest bear market on record, and a tremendous rally marking the beginning of a new bull market … While we don't expect 2021 to be as eventful as 2020, we do expect the equity market to continue trending higher," Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) said in a note.

The positive end to the final day of trade on Wall Street was led by a rise in financials, with Willis Towers Watson PLC (NASDAQ:WLTW), MSCI Inc (NYSE:MSCI) and Aon (NYSE:AON) among the biggest gainers.

Energy, which is down about 35% for the year, gave up some of its gains from a day earlier as oil prices turned lower on worries of further restrictions as the new strain of the coronavirus continues to stoke concerns about the outlook for oil demand.

"Because the variants spread more rapidly, they could lead to more cases and put even more strain on our already heavily burdened health-care systems," Dr. Henry Walke, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Covid incident manager, said on Wednesday.

The ongoing rise in cases didn’t show up in the latest weekly jobless claims report, but analysts expect the impact to appear in next week's nonfarm payrolls report for December.  

The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance unexpectedly fell by 19,000 to 787,000, compared with economists' forecasts for a rise to 835,000.

"Although the improvement does not fit with the narrative of intensifying COVID restrictions … given that initial claims increased between the Dec and Nov survey weeks … we see a high probability of a negative payroll print," Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) said in a note.

Tech has climbed more than 17% since its March lows, and showed more of the same resilience to eke out a positive close on the day as the Fab 5 bounced off lows.     

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) close in the green, while Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed lower.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), surged 12% on expectations for a lower supply of memory products after Samsung (KS:005930) and Hynix reportedly set conservative DRAM spending targets for 2021.

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) added 1.5% to its gains from a day earlier to hit a fresh record as investors continued to bet on the electric automaker delivering better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales when it reports deliveries next week.

Tesla has racked up more than 750% of gains for the year, ending the year on a high after its recent addition to the S&P 500 following four consecutive quarters of growth.  

Dow Ends 2020 at Record High as Bulls Continue Stampede on Final Day
 

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Comments (11)
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Jan 01, 2021 2:10AM ET
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"unexpectedly fell by 19,000" merely christmas jobs that will disappear. They know it but manipulate
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Dec 31, 2020 8:19PM ET
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Zero rate will stay for long time. It is good for stocks and good for gold. In total, it means that gold stocks will shine the best during next year.
Canis Lupus
Canis_lupus Dec 31, 2020 7:45PM ET
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Why do the bears hate winning so much? If you think it's a fraud, then play it instead if having a useless ego that enables it to play you. Agree with it it not, the market is always right. Even if it gets to make up it's own truth, regardless if reality. Perhaps you are right and it will drop 4000 points. So what? A person without an ego will make money off a bull and bear market. There is no right or wrong, there is only what is. So trade what is, not what you think it should be. Let go of your ego and you might find yourself winning for a change.
Leon Kelly
Leon Kelly Dec 31, 2020 5:19PM ET
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Boy them Spy puts got stomped out
Kenneth nelson
grasshopper Dec 31, 2020 5:02PM ET
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22 days until the Biden impeachment starts
Triet Vo
Triet Vo Dec 31, 2020 5:02PM ET
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Time to lock Trump up.
Triet Vo
Triet Vo Dec 31, 2020 5:02PM ET
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Time to loc.k Tru.mp up.
Randy Houk
Randy Houk Dec 31, 2020 4:48PM ET
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You
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory Dec 31, 2020 4:48PM ET
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Anyone with 401 holding NASDAQ and SP500 index made lot of cash 2020
Ludovic Raymond
Ludovic Raymond Dec 31, 2020 4:48PM ET
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Yeah lots of unrealized gains ;) Not necessarily cashed out lol
Mojo Snake
Mojo Snake Dec 31, 2020 4:44PM ET
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I am so glad that a very small percentage of people made a ton of money this year while so many people lost their jobs and businesses and suffered in general.  We should be so proud of ourselves.  Keep it going Wall St, we already know you won't be happy until there are just 50 companies run by 5 people left to serve everyone's needs.  With the new administration it should be very possible to accomplish.  Love socialism..... Can't wait for a loaf of bread to cost $50.....
John O Connell
Johneo Dec 31, 2020 4:44PM ET
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Mojo Snake
Mojo Snake Dec 31, 2020 4:44PM ET
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John O Connell Ha ha that is true we don't want to get too greedy.
Ivo Ivić
Ivo Ivić Dec 31, 2020 4:44PM ET
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it will be the same price, but government companies will make bread like in venezuela.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Dec 31, 2020 4:42PM ET
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I got stampeded for the last 1.3hr. I came back fast
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Dec 31, 2020 4:26PM ET
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Billionaires getting richer while proles going bankrupt. Thanks JPOW!
Ross Dre
Ross Dre Dec 31, 2020 4:19PM ET
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