The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 300 points as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got set to meet fellow congressional leaders in a bid to hammer out a coronavirus stimulus bill. Apple (AAPL) was the best performing blue chip, while Chinese electric vehicle stock Nio (NIO) outperformed market leader Tesla (TSLA).
Democrat leader Pelosi was scheduled to meet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at 4 p.m. ET to try to reach an agreement. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be there to represent the Trump Administration. There seems to be appetite among Republicans and Democrats to get a deal over the line.
“It’s about time to get this done,” McConnell said Monday night.
President Trump has also signaled that he is keen to sign off on a deal. He has said he wants to see checks being sent to Americans to help them weather the coronavirus crisis. The President is said to support a direct cash payment of up to $2,000.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic is on the cusp of passing a new milestone, with the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. reaching almost 17 million Tuesday, according to the Worldometer data tracker. The total virus-related deaths in the U.S. sits at nearly 310,000 mark.
S&P 500 Leads Nasdaq
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 4:06 PM ET 12/15/2020
One fly in the ointment was the fact volume was slightly lower than Monday. Trading was down 4.8% on the NYSE and around 1.2% on the Nasdaq, according to early data. CAN SLIM investors prefer volume to be higher on an up day.
Small caps stood amid the broadly positive action as it beat the major indexes. The Russell 2000 small-cap index was up 2%.
It was also a good day among S&P sectors, with all in the green. Energy, utilities and materials were leading. The Vanguard Energy Index Fund ETF (VDE) was up more than 2%.
Growth stocks were also faring well, with the IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) rising around 1.6%. The best performers in the IBD 50 index included Floor & Decor (FND), which gained more than 7%, and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY).
Apple Stock Leads Dow Jones
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had been running almost neck-and-neck with S&P 500, but lagged behind with a closing gain of 1.1%.
Apple was the leading component. It gapped up and rose 5%, breaking out past an aggressive buy point at 125.49. The buy zone tops out at 131.76. It also remains in buy range from an earlier aggressive entry around 120. The conventional buy point is 138.08, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.
The gain came on news that Apple plans to make up to 96 million iPhones in the first half of 2021, a 30% year-over-year increase. Apple is an IBD Leaderboard stock. It’s up almost 70% this year.
Other Dow components making good gains included Walt Disney (DIS), which was up 2.7%, and Goldman Sachs (GS). The biggest loser was Salesforce.com (CRM), which slipped around 0.5%, with Microsoft (MSFT) among a handful of other stocks failing to post a gain.
Nio Stock Gains, Tesla Stock Reverses
It was another mixed session for electric vehicle stocks. Chinese player Nio managed to pull away from its 50-day moving average as it gained 6.2%. It remains well shy of its Nov. 24 high of 57.20, however.
Nio fell Monday after it said it raised about $2.65 billion in an upsized share offering. It solid 68 million American depositary receipts (ADS) at 39 per share.
IBD Leaderboard stock Tesla hit reverse, slipping 1% after a rally attempt failed. It remains extended from a 466 buy point after breaking out of a cup-with-handle base. Tesla has a best-possible IBD Composite Rating of 99. Tesla stock is up around 660% so far in 2020.
IBD 50 Stock Among Breakouts
IBD 50 stock Trex (TREX) passed a buy point of 81.33, according to MarketSmith analysis. The stock’s relative strength line has been rising of late. The stock has a near-perfect IBD Composite Rating of 97.
The firm is the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing. It also makes a slew of other outdoor items using recycled materials.
Meanwhile Okta (OKTA) saw its RS line hit a new high as it broke out of an ascending base pattern. However it has slipped back below its ideal buy point of 258.85. The stock has a strong Composite Rating of 86.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) passed an alternate 96.47 buy point. The buy range goes up to 101.29. It’s extended from an 88.82 buy point of a double-bottom base cleared Nov. 30. The chip designer was featured in Monday’s IBD 50 Stocks To Watch.