market watch
November 30, 2020

After reaching a major milestone last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has finished its best month in more than 30 years.

On Monday, the Dow Jones fell 271 points, but it rose 11.8 percent in November in its best performance in a month since January 1987, CNBC reports. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite also both had their best month since April, CNN reports.

Stocks climbed throughout November amid positive news about several COVID-19 vaccine candidates and after the election of President-elect Joe Biden. On Nov. 24, after Biden's transition was officially able to begin, the Dow Jones officially reached 30,000 for the first time in history, although by Monday, it closed at 29,638.

Amid rising COVID-19 cases and warnings from experts about a post-Thanksgiving surge, The Wall Street Journal notes the "market's retreat Monday shows the rally isn't immune to setbacks." And on Monday afternoon, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said, "As we have emphasized throughout the pandemic, the outlook for the economy is extraordinarily uncertain and will depend, in large part, on the success of efforts to keep the virus in check. The rise in new COVID-19 cases, both here and abroad, is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months." Brendan Morrow

November 27, 2020

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs when Wall Street shuttered early Friday at the end of the holiday week, adding 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. Both indexes had previously set high marks earlier in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also shot up, but fell short of reaching the milestone it set earlier this week when it surpassed 30,000 for the first time ever. All three major benchmarks capped off huge weeks, trading up 2 percent since the opening bell Monday. Indeed, global stocks were on pace to cap off their most successful month on record Friday, The Financial Times notes.

The gains are likely tied somewhat to optimism about President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but the major driver is the encouraging coronavirus vaccine news that has steadliy rolled out in recent weeks. That has investors banking on a resurgent economy next year. "It's incredible, absolutely stunning," Fahad Kamal, chief market strategist at Kleinwort Hambros, said of the upswing, noting it's "all linked back to one crucial factor and that's the vaccine." Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. Tim O'Donnell

April 6, 2020

Stocks rebounded Monday after there were some signs of progress in the fight against the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 7.7 percent, and all 30 stocks in the index climbed, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 7 and 7.3 percent, respectively. That's largely a result of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reporting that the rate of daily COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, as well as the number of patients in intensive care units, may be slowing in the Empire State, which is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

But don't expect the market rebound to be permanent — volatility has been the rule over the last several months, so there will likely be more upswings and downturns along the way, especially because a lot could still change regarding the pandemic. "Everyone is just desperate for good pieces of news," said Peter Cecchini, the chief marketing strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald. "It doesn't necessarily reflect anything fundamental. Nothing's changed." Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Tim O'Donnell

April 23, 2019

The stock market has completed its comeback.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite closed at record highs on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. The former rose 0.9 percent, with the new peak — which surpassed a mark set in September 2018 — coming just months after the markets rapidly plunged on Christmas Eve last year and making up all the lost ground. The Nasdaq climbed 1.3 percent to shatter its previous high set in August 2018. Both markets were coming off long stretches without a record, after bottoming out down nearly 20% at the end of the year.

Stocks have reportedly flourished this year thanks to what The Wall Street Journal writes is a more "accommodative" Federal Reserve. The central bank said earlier this year it was unlikely to raise interest rates, which encouraged investors to take greater risks. The rise was also spurred by a more general confidence in the U.S. economy, per AP.

Overall, on the year, the S&P is up 17 percent, its best start to the year since 1987, per the Journal, while the Nasdaq is up 22 percent, a number it hasn't seen since 1991. Tim O'Donnell

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