Your Daily Briefing: Dow Continues Santa Claus Rally as Investors Cheer Holiday Online Sales Record

Dow Jones News Today: The Dow Jones gained about 17 points in pre-market hours as investors continued to cheer the year-end rally. The S&P 500 is now up 2.6% in December and has added more than 8% during the fourth quarter. Markets continue to rally in the wake of the Trump administration's "phase one" trade deal with China.

Before we dive into the latest trade developments and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 28,551.53 +106.44 +0.37
S&P 500 3,224.01 +2.79 +0.08
Nasdaq 8,945.65 +20.69 +0.23

Now here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday

  • The Trump administration announced today that it is still making progress on trade with China. The markets continue to experience a Santa Claus rally thanks to increasing optimism about the state of the U.S. economy and other metrics. This morning, the U.S. Labor Department announced that jobless claims fell for the second consecutive week. Jobless claims fell to 222,000 for the week ending Dec. 21. The Dow Jones has returned 51.5% since U.S. President Donald Trump's election in 2016. This return is more than double the average return of presidents who are three years into their term, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
  • Oil prices have reached their highest levels in three months. Lower U.S. inventories combined with optimism over the "phase one" trade deal has crude pushing higher. That has been very good news for oil majors like Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX).

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Stock to Watch Today:

  • Shares of Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) are on the move on news that the United States saw record online shopping sales this year. The company said that its holiday shopping season set new records. It said that customers purchased "billions" of products. In addition, the company sold "tens of millions" of Amazon-branded products.
  • Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) shares are under pressure yet again Thursday. A U.S. Congressional panel is reviewing documents that some leaders have called "very disturbing" about its grounding of the 737 Max jet. Boeing issued a statement that said the firm has been proactive in its revelations about the jet with Congress and the FAA. The firm also said that the tone of these documents do not reflect "the company we are and need to be."
  • PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) will be very busy in the world of M&A in 2020. The company said it will engage in a number of acquisitions next year with targeted purchases ranging between $1 billion and $3 billion.

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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