Wall St. winds up wild pandemic-year with Dow, S&P at record closing highs



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Wall St. winds up wild pandemic-year with Dow, S&P at record closing highs

On Thursday, a slew of US stocks rounded off a tumultuous 2020 in an upbeat tenure that was packed with waves of pandemic-led trepidations, as trade-sensitive Dow and benchmark S&P 500 closed out the year at record closing highs and all three key indices of Wall Street had clocked an outstanding year-to-date gains despite a global economy overwhelmed by a rising number of pandemic cases, while investors seemed to be awaiting a post-pandemic world following a kickstart of a mass-scale pandemic vaccination campaign earlier last month.

In point of fact, Pfizer Inc.’s pandemic vaccine candidate, which had inoculated as many as 2.9 million Americans over the last three weeks of 2020, had been looking to vaccinate up to 100 million Americans by March 2021, a third of the United States’ entire population, nonetheless, a number of emerging market economies had still been struggling to secure a pandemic vaccine in latest sign of a widening up of discrimination between the developed and emerging/developing economies.

Nonetheless, a majority of G20 economies including the US, UK and Canada had already rolled out a pandemic vaccination campaign, while UK’s AstraZeneca-Oxford’s pandemic vaccine candidate had received an approval for mass usage on December 30, spurring up hopes for emerging economies which could not afford the additional expenses required in cold chains for Pfizer Inc.

and Moderna’s vaccine candidates. If truth is to be told, Thursday’s gain in the Wall Street was almost entirely prodded by hopes of a post-pandemic world with expectations of an earlier economic recovery, while the pandemic-battered 2020, which has witnessed the longest bull market on record, largely sailed over a trillion-dollar pandemic stimulus bill passed on April last year, winded down the year with S&P 500 skyrocketing more than 66 per cent from its March 23 lows, marking up the shortest bear-market ever.

Wall Street ends pandemic-battered 2020 with spectacular year-to-date gains

Citing statistics, for the year, the benchmark S&P 500 added 16.3 per cent and trade-sensitive Dow gained 7.2 per cent, while tech-heavy Nasdaq was nudged as much as 43.6 per cent higher, leading the year’s bull-run in the US money markets.

Besides, in the day’s Wall Street closing bell, Dow rose 0.65 per cent to 30,606.48 and S&P 500 jumped 0.64 per cent to 3,756.07, while Nasdaq rose 0.14 per cent to wrap up the day at 12,888.28, supported by a plunge in US weekly jobless claims that fell by 19,000 to 787,700 last week on an adjusted basis amid a busy holiday season.

Meanwhile, branding the pandemic-hurt 2020 as a bullish year given the gains scored by a number of broader indices, a head of research and trading at Harvest Volatility Management, Mike Zigmont said, “For broad indexes, this is a bullish year despite the craziness in the real world.

It feels very much to me like investors have decided the world has changed forever, the coronavirus pandemic was the catalyst and now investors have decided who the winners are and who the losers are and are moving forward.