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Stock Market News for Dec 1, 2020

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U.S. stock markets closed lower on Monday as concerns mounted over surging COVID-19 cases across the United States. Moreover, investors’ sentiment also took a hit due to a weak set of economic data. All three major stock indexes ended the day in red.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dipped 0.9%, or 271.73 points, closing at 29,638.64 snapping its gains from Friday. Notably, 11 components of the 30-stock index ended in green while 19 finished the day in red. The blue-chip index has become green 3.9% year to date. One of the major losers of the Dow was The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV - Free Report) as it slid 3.6%. Travelers has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed the day at 12,198.74, down 0.1%, on the back of weak performance by large-cap technology stocks, snapping its 4-day winning streak.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 fell 0.5%, closing the day at 3,621.63, reversing its gains from Friday. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) lost 5.5% and 2.1%, respectively. Notably, nine out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the negative zone and two in the green.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 1.3% to 20.57. A total of 15 billion shares were traded on Monday, higher than the last 20-session average of 11.3 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 2.21-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.68-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Mounting Concerns Over COVID-19 Cases

The continued rise in COVID-19 cases led the U.S. markets lower on Monday. Data from Johns Hopkins University showed that COVID-19 cases across the country have crossed the 13 million mark. Moreover, Los Angeles County in California also recently imposed stay-at-home orders for its residents in order to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Economic Data

The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fell for the second consecutive month, falling 1.1% in October from September’s revised fall of 1.9%.

Per the data released by ISM Chicago, the Chicago PMI dipped to 58.2 in November, compared to 61.1 in October, falling short of the consensus estimate of 59. Nonetheless, this marks the fifth consecutive month of reading of above 50 which indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity.

Monthly Roundup

Wall Street has completed a record-breaking November. The three major stock indexes - the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite - rallied 11.8%, 10.8% and 11.8%, respectively. Additionally, small-cap centric Russell 2000 and mid-cap specific S&P 400 jumped 18.3% and 14.1%, respectively.

The Dow registered its best monthly performance since January 1987 and best November since 1928. The S&P 500 posted its best monthly performance since April 2020 and best November since 1928. The Nasdaq Composite recorded its best monthly performance since April 2020 and best November since 2001.The Russell 2000 registered its all-time monthly high.

Several positive developments on the COVID-19 vaccine front that bodes well for the reopening of the economy contributed to the rally in the major indexes.

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