Stock Market News for Dec 23, 2020

The benchmarks closed on Tuesday as investors remained concerned about rising coronavirus cases in America and Europe despite an ongoing vaccine rollout and an additional stimulus package.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 200.94 points, or 0.7%, to 30,015.51 and the S&P 500 fell 7.66 points, or 0.2%, to 3,687.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 12,807.92, adding 65.4 points, or 0.4%. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) with fear gauge fell 3.7% to close at 24.23. Progressive issues outperformed declining issues at a ratio of 1.10 to 1 on the NYSE and 1.45 to 1 on the Nasdaq.
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The S&P 500 closed lower for a third straight day while the Dow posted its largest loss of the month on Tuesday. However, the Nasdaq hit a new record high after a 2.9% jump in Apple Inc.'s AAPL stock after the company announced it plans to produce 2024 as the year it will produce self-driving cars with a breakthrough in battery technology . Apple has a Zacks rank 3 (Hold). The full list of today's Zacks # 1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks can be found here.
Other Nasdaq winners include Workday, Inc. WDAY and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. CHKP, which closed 6.4% and 5.1% higher respectively on Tuesday. Of the 11 main sectors of the S&P 500, nine ended in the red, with energy falling the most, dropping 1.8% during the session, followed by communications services and financial services falling nearly 1%. The biggest declines in the Dow include Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA, Amgen Inc. AMGN and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS, which closed 3.4%, 2.8% and 2.7% respectively.
In total, the S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 240 new highs and 5 new lows.
Rise in new cases raises investor concerns
Investor sentiment dampened on Tuesday as concerns about a new variant of the coronavirus overshadowed the economic outlook for 2021. Persistent concerns, particularly in the UK, have led many countries to close borders with the UK and introduce travel restrictions for visitors.
Travel-related stocks fell sharply on Tuesday. The shares of American Airlines Group Inc. AAL, United Airlines Holdings Inc., UAL, Carnival Corporation & Plc CCL and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH closed 3.9%, 2.5%, nearly 6% and 6.7% respectively on Tuesday.
However, World Health Organization experts said that Pfizer and Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidates would likely be effective against the new variant. They added that the virus mutated more slowly than the seasonal flu.
Economic data
The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing home properties fell 2.5% to 6.69 million for five consecutive months, up 2.5% in November. November sales were in line with consensus estimates, below October's revised downward of 6.72 million.
Yesterday, the Conference Board reported that the consumer confidence index fell from a revised 92.9 in November to 88.6 in December. This is the lowest since August and the second lowest since the pandemic lockdowns earlier this year. The same report also found that an index showing how consumers are currently feeling about the economy fell from 105.9 last month to 90.3 in December. The surge in new coronavirus cases across the country and renewed restrictions on businesses have had a negative impact on consumer sentiment.
According to the report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 33.4% annually in the third quarter of 2020, according to the third estimate published on Tuesday. The third estimate beat the consensus estimate of 33.2% and is higher than the second estimate of 33.1% and well above the second quarter, the real GDP decline of 31.4%.
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Carnival Corporation (CCL): Free Stock Research Report

United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Research Report

Amgen Inc. (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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