The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attempted to strike a Covid-19 stimulus-check bargain with Republican rival Mitch McConnell. Meanwhile Apple (AAPL) stock slipped closer to a loss-taking zone, while EV stocks Tesla (TSLA) and Nio (NIO) surged higher. Intel (INTC) was the best-performing blue chip.
Schumer tried to entice Senate Majority Leader McConnell into allowing a separate vote on sending $2,000 relief checks to Americans in return for allowing votes on limiting liability protections for technology companies such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR), and establishing a commission to examine whether there was voter fraud during the 2020 election.
Sen. Schumer (D-NY) said on the Senate floor he would allow a vote on “whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you like” in return for allowing a vote on increasing Covid-19 aid.
However, this seems unlikely as Republican leader McConnell had earlier lashed out on the Senate floor at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while decrying the stimulus check bill, which was passed by the House earlier this week.
“We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people,” McConnell said.
President Donald Trump has called for stimulus payments of $2,000 for Americans. However McConnell has made such payments conditional on an investigation of election rigging and the repeal of the section of an act that protects online companies. These are two other measures that Trump has also been calling for.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases continue to rise. In the U.S., confirmed cases have passed the 20 million mark with a death toll of almost 352,000, according to Worldometer. Globally, cumulative coronavirus cases are near 83.5 million, with more than 1.8 million deaths.
S&P 500 Gains, Nasdaq Loses Ground
The S&P 500 and the Dow were in the green as the S&P staged a late rally, rising almost 0.4.% and the Dow Jones rose by the same percentage. Data storage stock Western Digital (WDX) was the biggest winner in the S&P 500, gaining almost 11%. Micron Technology (MU) was another standout performer.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 2:52 PM ET 12/31/2020
Small caps were also struggling. However the Russell 2000 pared losses, and was pretty much flat.
Volume was down compared with the same time on Wednesday. Trading slipped by more than 10% on the NYSE, and also more than 10% on the Nasdaq.
It was a relatively positive day among the sectors, with more winners than losers. Financials and utilities were the best-performing sectors.
Growth stocks were having a tough time. The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) was down around 0.3%. Brokerage stock Futu (FUTU) was by far the best-performing stock on the IBD 50, posting a gain of more than 6%.
Intel Gain Helps Dow Jones
The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to rally back into the green, and was up about 0.3%. It means the major index is close to closing 2020 at an all-time high.
It was aided by the performance of Intel, which was the best performing component as it rose around 2.5%. This helped it pull away from its 50-day moving average.
Apple Stock Slips Toward Loss-Taking Zone
Leaderboard member Apple is slipping closer to a loss taking zone after falling more than 1% Thursday, MarketSmith analysis shows.
The computing giant now looks on track to post a loss for the third day in a row
Apple stock had broken out from a cup base buy point of 138.08 Tuesday. However it ended up reversing lower and has struggled for momentum since.
In recent weeks, Apple shares have moved above aggressive entries at 125.49 and 122.09.
The blue-chip giant is the No. 1-performing Dow Jones stock for 2020, with an 82.2% advance through Wednesday.
Tesla, Nio Stocks Surge
Newly minted S&P 500 member Tesla looked set to move higher for the sixth session in a row. It sits at record highs after gaining more than 2% early, but easing to about a 1% gain just before the market close.
The IBD Leaderboard stock remains extended from a 466 proper buy point after breaking out of a cup-with-handle base. Tesla still has a best-possible IBD Composite Rating of 99. The EV leader’s stock is up more than 750% in 2020.
Taiwan-based Masterlink Securities initiated coverage on Tesla stock Thursday with a buy rating and a price target of 750.
Meanwhile, Tesla Q4 delivery data is expected to come out next week. The automaker needs to notch roughly 180,000 vehicles delivered to achieve its stated goal of hitting a record 500,000 for the year.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a recent note that 190,000-200,000 is “well within reach.” However, he also cautioned that there could be “some logistics speed bumps throughout Europe in the next few days.”
Tesla’s gain was meatier than that of Chinese rival Nio, which rose just over 1%, then settled to 0.3% higher near the close. It’s aiming to make progress for the third day in a row and move further above its 50-day moving average. It remains well shy of its Nov. 24 high of 57.20. Nevertheless, its gain in 2020 is even more impressive than Tesla’s, coming in at 1,123%.