2021 Hopes Take Hold Early

Chaotic year has a solid finish
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2020 4:15 PM CST
2021 Hopes Take Hold Early
The Fearless Girl statue stands in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2020 at more record highs Thursday, closing out one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory. The S&P 500 rose 24.03 points, or 0.6%, to 3,756.07, ending the year up 16%, or roughly 18% including dividends. The Dow picked up 196.92 points, or .07%, to 30,606.48, after entering the day up 6% for the year. The Nasdaq climbed 18.28 points, or 0.1%, to 12,888.28; that's up 43% for the year, per the AP. Trading volume decreased during the holiday week, per the Wall Street Journal. Several overseas markets were closed for holidays, and US markets will be closed for New Year's Day on Friday.

The year saw a breathtaking nosedive in markets in the spring as the coronavirus took hold, the AP reports, followed by steady gains in later months as hopes built for an eventual return to something like normal. Investors' success this year, when corporate earnings were off and revenue growth flat, "left them scratching their heads," said one strategist. They're counting on distribution of the coronavirus vaccines to get 2021 off to a good start, enabling a quick economic rebound. The end-of-the-year rally reflects that optimism, a researcher said. "There is a hope we will see this synchronized global recovery in 2021," he said.

(More stock market stories.)

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