Stocks and index ETFs are attempting to make a run following the Thanksgiving holiday, as Black Friday looks to close out a robust week of gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 38 points, or 0.1% before pulling back to breakeven. The S&P 500 advanced 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1%.
The major stock index ETFs are mixed on Friday along with their underlying benchmarks, with the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) trading slightly lower to unchanged and the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) in the green. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) is slightly higher Friday as well.
“What we’re witnessing today, this week and this month, is a continuation in the rise of optimism,” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management. “The environment for risk assets has been getting better and better” as drugmakers release more positive Covid-19 vaccine data and the risks on the political front ease.
Volatility has reached the lowest levels seen since February, according to the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), as investors are feeling confident in an economic recovery, with new vaccine data promising reinforcements in the coronavirus battle soon.
That vaccine news bolstered the Dow, lifting it 12.8% in November, to break the 30,000 level briefly, and setting the index on pace for its biggest monthly gain since January 1987.
Black Friday is off to a healthy start, with retail stocks gaining as investors wager for an energetic holiday shopping season. Big names like Amazon, Shopify climbed higher, and Gamestop even rocketed 10.5%, as the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) advanced 0.6% and notched a new all-time high, and the ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN) added 2.50%. On Thanksgiving Day, online sales exploded to a historic $5.1 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
Political stability is also adding to market calm, as President Donald Trump said he would depart the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
“Certainly I will. Certainly I will. And you know that,” Trump said. Trump continued to tout that “we know there was massive fraud,” without providing any evidence however.
Analysts are now more optimistic that a recovery from the pandemic will drive widespread market participation.
“As we inch closer to that ultimate health solution … we’re starting to see market participation broaden out and rotate into some of the more impaired sectors through the course of this pandemic,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “As we turn the coroner, that is going to allow pent-up economic activity to return.”
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