Stocks hit record as Congress weighs $908B coronavirus aid package

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Illustrative: Wall Street. (Photo: File).

U.S. equity markets climbed into record territory Tuesday after a bipartisan coalition floated a plan for a $908 billion COVID-19 aid package.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 29823.92 +185.28 +0.63%
SP500 S&P 500 3662.45 +40.82 +1.13%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 12355.105992 +156.37 +1.28%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 184 points, or 0.62%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were higher by 1.13% and 1.28%, respectively. The major averages finished off their best levels of the day when the Dow was up more than 400 points.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XLC THE COMMUNICATION SERVICES SELECT SECTOR SPDR FUND 66.60 +1.20 +1.83%
XLF FINANCIAL SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 28.31 +0.43 +1.54%
XLB MATERIALS SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 71.77 +0.78 +1.10%

Communication and service stocks, along with financials and materials drove the broad gains within the S&P 500.

The strong start to December comes after the Dow rallied 11.8% last month, booking its largest monthly advance since January 1987. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, climbed 10.8% and 11.8%, respectively, posting their best months since April.

Looking at stocks, Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. gained after the companies applied their COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in Europe. An approval decision will be made on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by Dec. 29 and on the Moderna vaccine by Jan. 12.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PFE PFIZER INC. 39.41 +1.10 +2.87%
BNTX BIONTECH SE 114.01 -10.23 -8.23%
MRNA MODERNA INC. 141.01 -11.73 -7.68%

Retail stocks were in focus after Cyber Monday sales soared to a record $10.8 billion as tracked by Adobe Analytics.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 152.64 -0.15 -0.10%
TGT TARGET CORP. 179.05 -0.48 -0.27%
SHOP SHOPIFY INC 1,069.06 -21.32 -1.96%
ETSY ETSY INC 154.67 -6.03 -3.75%

In other retail news, Kohl’s struck a deal with beauty chain Sephora to open boutiques in 850 stores. The move will help compete with rival Ulta.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
KSS KOHL’S CORP. 36.52 +4.32 +13.42%
ULTA ULTA BEAUTY INC. 279.53 +4.13 +1.50%

In tech news, Blackberry shares were higher after announcing a cloud-software development deal with Amazon Web Services.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
KSS KOHL’S CORP. 36.52 +4.32 +13.42%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 3,220.08 +52.04 +1.64%

Exxon Mobil Corp. shares rallied after the oil company said it is planning a writedown of up to $20 billion and that it intends to slash spending by as much as $25 billion per year through 2025 as it navigates through a COVID-19 induced slowdown.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION 38.50 +0.37 +0.97%

Tesla Inc. shares rose after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the company’s full weight would be added to the S&P 500 on Dec. 21. The announcement comes amid speculation the $538 billion company would be added to the index in steps to temper volatility caused by the addition of such a massive listing.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 584.76 +17.16 +3.02%
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS INC. 406.31 -72.05 -15.06%

Looking at earnings, Zoom Video Communications reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its outlook, but shares were under pressure as investors fretted over rising costs.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 79 cents to $44.55 per barrel as OPEC members postponed a decision on production until Thursday and gold jumped $38.40 to $1,814.10 an ounce.

Economic data out Tuesday was mixed as the ISM manufacturing reading slipped to 57.5 in November, missing the 58 that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting, and construction spending outpaced estimates rising 1.3% month over month.

(Fox Business News).

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