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U.S. Indices Took Different Directions On Monday

With investors challenging the changing health situation and the accelerated implementation of Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion support package, the New York Stock Exchange started the week on a mixed note. Nevertheless, the ‘techno’ helped the Nasdaq to set a new record, before a salvo of corporate results: this week, some 120 S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, are due to be releasing their quarterly results. It is also expected that the Fed will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday when the first fourth-quarter U.S. GDP growth forecast will be published on Thursday.

The Dow Jones gave up 0.12% to 30,960 points at the end, while the large S&P 500 index added 0.36% to 3,855 points, and the Nasdaq Composite index, heavy in electronics and biotech companies, advanced 0.69% to 13,635 points, marking a fourth consecutive record closing. Record setters include Apple (up 2.77 percent) and Tesla (up 4 percent), while the stock of video game provider Gamestop (up 18.1 percent) has been once again subject to wild speculation.

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The three indices rose last week by 0.6% (DJIA), 1.9% (S&P 500), and 4.2% (Nasdaq), respectively, accepting the inauguration of US President Joe Biden on 20 January and the promise of his turnaround agenda in the face of the health crisis.

The Chicago Fed’s national activity index for December 2020 came in at 0.52 in today’s economic news, compared to an updated average of 0.31 for the previous month. The prior reading was 0.27 in November. A positive index represents growth in the US ‘over trend’.

The January regional manufacturing activity index for the Dallas Fed stood at 7, down from 9.7 a month ago. It weakens but, because it is positive, it still represents increased inactivity.

According to US newspapers, the $1,900 billion health disaster assistance initiative, however, could take longer than anticipated to be implemented. For starters, Chuck Schumer, the senate’s Democratic leader, quoted by the Bloomberg news agency on Monday, said he expects the proposal to be implemented by mid-March. Many of the lawmakers on both sides are hesitant to follow such a high package and to lift the budget deficit excessively.

‘In the next month or month and a half, we will try to move it,’ Schumer said of the Biden proposal, by mid-March, when the new assistance will stop.

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