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Stocks Close at Records as Trump Signs Relief and Funding Package

Stocks close at record highs as President Trump signs a combined $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding package.
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Stocks kicked off the final week of 2020 by closing at records as President Donald Trump relented and signed a $2.3 trillion spending bill that includes nearly $1 trillion of coronavirus relief.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 204 points, or 0.68%, to 30,403, while the S&P 500 rose 0.87%, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.74%. 

At one point during Monday's trading the Dow industrials were up nearly 326 points, or 1.1%, at an intraday record 30525.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report, Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report and Visa  (V) - Get Visa Inc. Class A Report led the Dow's advance.

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Among major movers within Nasdaq, Apple and Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report added 3.6% and Amazon  (AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report jumped 3.5%. Cintas  (CTAS) - Get Cintas Corporation Report ended up 4.7%.

Trump, who had threatened to send the bill back to Congress, relented late Sunday and signed the spending package agreement he had earlier called a "disgrace." 

The president backed off his demand for $2,000 aid checks.

The move cleared the way for $600 direct payments to most American families as well as improved unemployment benefits.

The bill includes $900 billion in pandemic relief and $1.4 trillion in government spending to fund federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year next September.

House Democrats are expected to vote Monday afternoon to approve $2,000 payments to Americans, as Trump had demanded, Reuters reported.

The Senate is unlikely to go along. But with an affirmative vote, the Democrats hope to put the GOP on record against the proposal, Reuters reported. 

And Congress will also seek to override Trump's recent veto of a $740 billion bill to fund the Defense Department.

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The number of confirmed global deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, rose to 1.77 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases of the virus worldwide have risen to 81.1 million.

The U.S. death toll is 334,116, the most in the world. The number of infected people in the U.S. was 19.3 million.

Meanwhile, countries are imposing more restrictions to fight the spread of a new, more infectious strain of the virus. Japan is among the latest to act, banning the entry of most foreigners through the end of January.

The covid-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report and the University of Oxford could be cleared by the U.K. as early as this week, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. AstraZeneca shares finished up 1.8%.

The European Union started a continent-wide vaccination campaign less than a week after clearing a shot developed by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report.

Myovant  (MYOV) - Get Myovant Sciences Ltd. Report shares surged 20% after the Swiss biopharma and New York health-care giant Pfizer said they’d collaborate to market a prostate-cancer treatment, an agreement valued at as much as $4.2 billion. The drug is also under development and Food and Drug Administration assessment for certain women’s-health applications.

Discount retailer Ross Stores  (ROST) - Get Ross Stores, Inc. Report continued to roar ahead, closing up 3.9%. And from the beginning of November through Friday, the Dublin, Calif. chain advanced 39%.

Among Ross's peers in discount retail, Burlington Stores  (BURL) - Get Burlington Stores, Inc. Report was up 4.2% and TJX  (TJX) added 2.1%.

Chipmakers got a boost Monday after Mizuho Securities raised price targets for more than a couple dozen semiconductor companies. 

U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Report wavered after Chinese regulators ordered Ant Group to overhaul its lending and other consumer-finance operations. They were up 0.3%.

Alibaba owns a 33% stake in Ant Group, the world’s largest financial technology company. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian cut his price target on Alibaba to $285 from $325, while maintaining his outperform rating.

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Bitcoin ran up to $28,000 this weekend for a variety of reasons, most prominent among them investors' fear of missing out.

Apple, AMD, Broadcom and Disney are holdings in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.