Congress Inches Towards A Stimulus Deal: Nasdaq Soars To A Record High

 

Progress on a stimulus package and encouraging jobless claims data made US equities a mixed bag. The Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. However, S&P fared worse in the final hour of trading as there are concerns about the time frame within which the coronavirus vaccine will be released.

 

Early gains were seen as lawmakers moved towards a $908 billion proposal put forward on Wednesday by Democratic leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not as yet raised his own offer to reach an agreement. However, on Thursday afternoon, he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke about additional fiscal stimulus as well as the omnibus spending bill.

 

New weekly claims for unemployment insurance for the week that ended Saturday was 712,000 while Bloomberg expected it to be 775,000. Some economists believe that the drop was due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will soon rise higher.

 

“The drop in claims reported today reverses the increase of the past two weeks, but it would be a mistake to regard the decline as mere mean revision,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said. “The drop is the fluke, not the increases which preceded it.”

 

Some highlights

 

  • Utilities and materials lagged behind
  • S&P 500 recorded high gains but fell at the end of the day
  • Boeing led the Dow higher
  • Tesla gained after Goldman Sachs upgraded its shares from neutral to buy
  • Crowdstrike gained
  • Bitcoin rose
  • Spot gold gained
  • Oil prices gained

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