Stocks rose on Friday as traders spent a strong week amid declining political uncertainty and positive vaccination news.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points, 0.1%. The S&P 500 achieved 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite 1%.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose at least 2% in the week leading up to Friday’s session. Earlier this week, the Dow jumped to an all-time high, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also hit record highs this week, and the Russell 2000 rose to an all-time high.
“What we can witness today, this week and this month is the continued growth of optimism,” said Mike Zigmont, head of sales and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “The environment for risk devices is getting better and better,” as drug manufacturers release more positive Covid-19 vaccination data and risks on the political front are mitigated.
Wall Street’s preferred fear meter, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), has plummeted below 20 for the first time since late February.
Retailers led the early gains when investors bet on a strong holiday shopping season. Amazon shares rose 0.7%. Shopify rose 1.8% and Gamestop rose 10.5%. Etsy shares rose 8.4%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) rose 0.6% to an all-time high. On Thanksgiving Day, online sales rose to a record $ 5.1 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
The mood was also helped by the remarks of President Donald Trump, who said he would leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for elected President Joe Biden.
“Of course I will. Of course I will. And you know that,” Trump said. He added, however, that it would be difficult to admit because “we know a huge fraud has taken place”. However, Trump did not provide concrete evidence of widespread voter fraud.
A historic month for stocks
Stocks arrived high for Friday’s session in November, thanks in part to positive test data for a coronavirus vaccine.
Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccination was more than 90% effective. Moderna also said his drug was extremely effective in an experiment.
These figures raised the Dow by 12.8% in November, aiming for the highest monthly profit since January 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 11 and 10.8%, respectively, in November. Meanwhile, the little-capped Russell 2000 is in its best month, nearly 20% more.
The strong gains in November were driven by devalued equities as positive vaccine news raised hopes for a strong economic recovery.
IShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) rose 14.7% this month. Its growth counterpart, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF), grew 9.2% during this time.
“As we get closer and closer to this ultimate healthcare solution … we’re starting to see market share expand and spread to more vulnerable sectors during a pandemic,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at US Bank Wealth Management. “As soon as we turn the coroner over, it will allow the suspended economic activity to return.”
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