S&P 500 rises as investors bet on economic recovery

Published On: December 24, 2020Categories: Stocks & Shares1.4 min read

Cyclical stocks, which stand to benefit most from economic recovery, were outperforming

The S&P 500 closed in positive territory on Wednesday as an expected stimulus deal and falling jobless claims prompted investors to put their money into sectors most likely to benefit from the economy re-opening when it recovers from the global health crisis.

While the blue-chip Dow and small caps led the gains, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session slightly lower.

Economically vulnerable cyclical stocks, which were battered by mandated shutdowns and stand to benefit most from economic recovery, were outperforming.

The rotation into cyclicals reflects a growing confidence in recovery from the pandemic recession, and began in fits and starts after promising late-stage vaccine data was released in early November.

It’s a very welcoming sign to see rotation into beaten down sectors, said Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts. It speaks to the importance to valuation and the importance of diversification.

It also speaks to the hope that is out there, Keator added. When you see oil pick up and travel and tourism industries pick up, it speaks to the market looking forward and pricing in that hope.

The possibility of a year-end shutdown of the U.S. government, not to mention the lack of new fiscal stimulus, raised its head after President Donald Trump threatened to veto a $2.3 trillion funding package, which also includes a long-awaited $892 billion pandemic relief deal.

A raft of mixed economic data showed a welcome decrease in jobless claims and an uptick in new orders for durable goods, but also a pullback in consumer spending, dropping personal income and fading sentiment as the holiday shopping season nears its end amid a resurgent pandemic.

But languid inflation data provided further assurance that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to maintain its accommodative monetary policy at least until 2024.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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