Shares rise as Wall Avenue heads for a revenue week and historic month
Stocks rose on Friday as traders closed a strong week of decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1%.
The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up at least 2% for the week on Friday. The Dow jumped to an all-time high earlier in the week, breaking above 30,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also hit a record high this week and the Russell 2000 hit an all-time high.
"What we are witnessing today, this week and this month, is a continuation of the growing optimism," said Mike Zigmont, director of trading and research for Harvest Volatility Management. "The environment for risk-weighted drugs just got better," as drug makers release more positive Covid-19 vaccine data and risks on the political front subside.
The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Street's favorite fear indicator, fell below 20 for the first time since late February.
Retailers led early gains as investors bet on a strong holiday season. The Amazon share gained 0.7%. Shopify was up 1.8% and Gamestop was up 10.5%. The Etsy share rose 8.4%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) rose 0.6% to hit an all-time high. On Thanksgiving Day, online sales rose to a record $ 5.1 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
Also helpful were comments from President Donald Trump, who said he would leave the White House if the electoral college voted for President-elect Joe Biden.
"I will be safe. I will be safe. And you know that," said Trump. However, he added that it was difficult for him to admit because "we know there has been massive fraud". However, Trump did not provide any concrete evidence of widespread electoral fraud.
Historic month for stocks
Stocks got into Friday's session in November, in part due to a string of positive data from coronavirus vaccine trials.
Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna also said his drug was highly effective in one study.
These data helped the Dow gain 12.8% in November, the largest monthly gain since January 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 11% and 10.8% respectively in November. The small-cap Russell 2000 is now well on its way to its best month ever, up almost 20%.
The strong gains in November were led by battered value stocks as positive vaccine news raised hopes of a strong economic recovery.
The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) is up 14.7% this month. Its growth counterpart, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IMF), has gained 9.2% over the period.
"As we move closer to this ultimate healthcare solution, market participation will gradually expand as this pandemic moves into some of the worst-hit sectors," said Bill Northey, senior investment director, US Bank Wealth Management. "If we turn the coroner around, pent-up economic activity can return."
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