Stocks End On Firm Note; Dow, S&P Close At Record Highs

U.S. stocks moved higher on Monday, the first trading session of the new year, amid optimism the economy will stay on the recovery track despite the surge in coronavirus cases in several parts of the globe.

The major averages all ended with solid gains. The Dow climbed 246.76 points or 0.68 percent to 36,585.06, a record closing high. The S&P 500, which also posted a fresh closing high, settling at 4,796.56, gained 30.38 points or 0.64 percent, while the Nasdaq moved up 187.83 points or 1.2 percent to 15,832.80.

Among the significant contributors to the market’s surge were Apple Inc (APPL) and Tesla Inc. (TSLA). Apple Inc shares gained more than 2.5 percent today, hitting an all-time high. The iPhone maker became the first company to hit $3 trillion market capitalization.

Apple reached the latest milestone just less than two years after it breached the $2 trillion mark. Apple’s market value first crossed the $1 trillion threshold in August 2018 and exceeded $2 trillion in August 2020.

Shares of Tesla Inc climbed 13.5 percent thanks to the company’s quarterly deliveries beating estimates. Tesla announced it delivered 308,600 vehicles in Q4, beating estimates of 263,026.

Bank stocks moved higher as Treasury yields advanced. Shares from, automobile, aviation and energy sectors also posted impressive gains.

Wells Fargo surged up 5.8 percent thanks to a rating upgrade of the stock by Barclays. Goldman Sachs, Intel, Boeing, American Express, Visa and JP Morgan Chase climbed 2 to 3.5 percent. Walgreens Boots Alliance, IBM, Chevron and Walt Disney also closed with strong gains.

In economic news, a report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. construction spending increased 0.4 percent in November amid strong gains in single-family homebuilding. However, outlays on public projects were weak.

Economists had expected construction spending to climb 0.6 percent. Construction spending increased 9.3% on a year-on-year basis in November.

Spending on private construction projects rose 0.6 percent in November. Outlays on residential construction surged 0.9 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.4 percent.

European stocks closed on a firm note. The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.45 percent. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.86 percent to close at a six-week high. France’s CAC surged up 0.9 percent, settling at a fresh record high, and Switzerland’s SMI gained 0.49 percent. Markets in the U.K. and Ireland were closed for New Year holiday.

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