Dow Jones Jumps As McConnell Says Stimulus Deal Is ‘At Hand;’ Nasdaq, S&P 500 Hit New Highs

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed higher after Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said a coronavirus stimulus deal is “at hand.” The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit record highs.




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Meanwhile, Nio (NIO) and Tesla (TSLA) rallied in a positive day for electric vehicle stocks. Home Depot (HD) and Visa (V) were among the leading blue chips, while Inphi (IPHI) was among stocks passing buy points.

Republican Senate leader McConnell said efforts to broker a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leading Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin look set to bear fruit. A demand from President Donald Trump that Americans should once again receive stimulus checks is expected to pay off, with payments said to be around $600 per individual.

“I’m encouraged that our Democratic colleagues have now embraced this framework that’s been the right solution for our country all this time and a bipartisan, bicameral agreement appears to be close at hand,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.

The Senate leader also said it is “highly likely” Congress will work through the weekend to pass the measures, which means a short-term funding measure may have to be passed in the interim.

Speaker Pelosi also gave indications an agreement is close. The senior Democrat told reporters Thursday that progress had been made, and that she was “waiting to hear back.”

The positive news was enough to overcome a weaker-than-expected jobless claims report this morning.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to rage, with the cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. passing the 17.5 million mark Thursday, according to the Worldometer data tracker. The total virus-related deaths in the U.S. is nearing the 320,000 mark.

Nasdaq, S&P 500 Reach Record Highs

The Nasdaq was the leading major index once again. It closed around a new record high, rising by 0.8%. Top performers included coronavirus vaccine play Moderna (MRNA), which rose almost 6%. Other strong performers included Workday (WDAY) and DocuSign (DOCU), which both surged more than 4%.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 30301.79 +147.25 +0.49
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 3722.42 +21.25 +0.57
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 12764.75 +106.56 +0.84
Russell 2000 (IWM) 196.28 +2.30 +1.19
IBD 50 (FFTY) 41.48 +0.57 +1.39
Last Update: 4:04 PM ET 12/17/2020

The broad-based S&P 500 also made a record high as it closed up 0.6%. Homebuilder Lennar (LEN) was the standout name, with a gain of 7.4%, with Accenture (ACN) and PulteGroup (PHM) close behind.

Volume was mixed compared to Wednesday, according to early data. Trading was down more than 1% on the NYSE and up around 11% on the Nasdaq.

It was a good day for small caps. The Russell 2000 small-cap index reached a record high, before closing up around 1.3%.

Growth stocks stood, with the IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) breaking new ground and closing up almost 1.4%. Top performers in the IBD 50 index included Digital Turbine (APPS), which rose almost 9%, and Cerence (CRNC), which was up around 8%.

Visa Stock Among Dow Jones Leaders

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it still closed near its all-time high as it closed up 0.4%.

Visa was among the leading stocks with a gain of 1.4%, while Home Depot also performed well, with a gain of 1.7%. But Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was the leading component of the day after rising 2.7%. The Dow Jones stock is trying to reach a flat base buy point of 155.57.

Most stocks were winners on the index Thursday, but there were a few losers. Boeing (BA) suffered the heaviest loss after slipping more than 2%, with Intel (INTC) its nearest challenger with a loss of just over 1%.

Nio Stock, Tesla Stock Up

Electric vehicle stocks made progress Thursday. Chinese player Nio pulled further away from its 50-day moving average as it gained almost 3%. This was its third up day in a row. It remains well shy of its Nov. 24 high of 57.20.

Nio has had a bruising week after announcing Monday it raised about $2.65 billion in an upsized share offering. It sold 68 million American depositary receipts (ADS) at 39 per share.

Nikola (NKLA) stock also posted a gain, though it was up less than 1% as it continued to trade tightly.

IBD Leaderboard stock Tesla gained, rising more than 5%. It remains extended from a 466 buy point after breaking out of a cup-with-handle base. Tesla still has a best-possible IBD Composite Rating of 99. Tesla stock is up more than 670% so far in 2020.

Inphi Stock Among Breakouts

Inphi moved into a buy zone after breaking out of a flat base, according to MarketSmith analysis. The ideal buy point is 157.20. It is well clear of its 50-day line, which is a bullish indicator.

The stock’s relative strength line looks to be rising again after moving sideways during the base-building period. The stock has a perfect IBD Composite Rating of 99. It boasts a mix of impressive earnings and stock market performance.

TopBuild (BLD) is in buy zone after passing a buy point of 191.89. The stock has a strong Composite Rating of 94, and boasts a perfect EPS Rating of 99.

The insulation specialist has generated plenty of heat so far in 2020, rising by 86%. The firm has been benefiting from the strong housing environment, with interest rates around record lows. The company provides insulation and building material services across the U.S. through its TruTeam and Service Partners businesses.

Market analysis firm MSCI (MSCI) broke out of a base-on-base pattern. The ideal buy point is 437.45, and its RS line is rising. The stock has a strong Composite Rating of 91.

Please follow Michael Larkin on Twitter at @IBD_MLarkin for more on growth stocks and analysis.

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