5 issues it’s best to know earlier than the inventory market opens on January 4th, 2021
Here are the top news, trends, and analysis investors need to get their trading day started:
1. Let Wall Street pick up where 2020 left off
Traders work the NYSE floor on December 31, 2020.
U.S. stock futures rose Monday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at record highs and the Nasdaq just missed a record close on Thursday, the final day of a turbulent 2020. Wall Street got off to a strong start last year, but began to fuel up in February and February bottoming out in March when the coronavirus began to settle in the Federal Reserve’s exceptional monetary stimulus and congressional Covid-19 economic relief laid the foundation for a remarkable rally in stocks. The Dow ended 2020 more than 7.25% higher while the S&P 500 rose over 16%. The Nasdaq was the big stock index winners over the past year, up more than 43% as technology stocks benefited from the home economy caused by restrictions to contain the coronavirus.
Bitcoin, the asset class with the best performance over the past year, rose 305% in 2020. While Bitcoin was down about 10% early Monday, it surged above $ 34,000 for the first time the day before.
2. Runoff elections in Georgia to determine the balance of power in the Senate
Voters will stand in front of the High Museum polling station on December 14, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia, on the first day of early voting. Georgians are voting to vote for two seats in the US Senate in a runoff election.
Jessica McGowan | Getty Images
Two runoff elections on Tuesday in Georgia will determine whether Republicans retain control of the Senate. The races will take place between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock. If Perdue and Loeffler win, the GOP would have a Senate majority of 52 seats, which would allow them to block part of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda. Biden and President Donald Trump will be campaigning for their party’s candidates in Georgia on Monday. More than 3 million Georgians have already cast ballots in the early vote.
3. Trump puts pressure on Georgia’s top electoral officer to find votes
United States President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office when he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC on December 31, 2020.
Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images
Trump pressured Georgia’s GOP foreign minister to reverse Biden’s win at Peach State in an extraordinary phone call on Saturday, as received from NBC News. Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger resisted pressure from the president, who issued veiled threats calling for Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” to change the outcome in Georgia. The contents of the phone call were first reported by the Washington Post.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks in Cumming, Georgia, United States, at a pre-election campaign rally in Georgia on January 2, 2021 to control the U.S. Senate.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters
On Wednesday, a group of Republican Senators, led by Ted Cruz from Texas, will press for a delay in confirming Biden’s victory during a joint congressional session. Efforts to reverse the latest of dozen Republican attempts to undo Trump’s loss are unlikely to change the electoral college’s record, which Biden won between 306 and 232. Vice President Mike Pence, who will chair the joint congressional session on Wednesday, said he supported the Cruz-led move. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Urged his party not to object to the results of the electoral college.
4. Covid numbers will remain high when vaccines are introduced
The total of U.S. coronavirus cases on Monday morning exceeded 20.6 million with at least 351,580 deaths. December was the deadliest month of the pandemic. In the last month alone, over 22% of all deaths occurred in the United States. The seven-day daily averages for new US cases and deaths were at their worst ever, but they were still extremely high. Current hospital stays, 125,544 on Sunday, hit another record high.
The UK began rolling out the two-dose coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday. Unlike Moderna and the Pfizer and BioNTech alliances, AstraZeneca’s vaccine can be stored, transported and handled under normal refrigeration conditions for at least six months. The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has not been approved in the United States
The head of the U.S. government’s Covid vaccination program said Sunday that health officials are investigating the idea of giving a large group of Americans half a dose of Moderna’s vaccine to speed up vaccinations. Health officials targeted 20 million vaccinations by the end of 2020. However, as of Jan. 2, only about 4.2 million vaccinations had been given with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
5. Tesla delivered nearly 500,000 vehicles in 2020
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, gesticulates when he visits the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla in Gruenheide near Berlin on September 3, 2020.
Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images
Tesla’s shares, which are up more than 740% in the past 12 months, rose about 2% on the Monday before going public, indicating an open above their all-time high of $ 718.72 per share on New Years Eve. Tesla said Saturday it shipped 180,570 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter, beating its previous record and expectations. For the full year 2020, Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles, slightly missing the latest forecast of 500,000 vehicles. CEO Elon Musk said he wanted to grow the sales volume to 20 million a year over the next decade. Plans are in the works for a $ 25,000 electric vehicle, cybertruck, semi, and redesigned roadster. Looking ahead to 2021, Tesla is building factories in Austin, Texas and Brandenburg, Germany.
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