US stocks fell on Monday, as investors hoped the rollout of the vaccines would help the economy regain ground in the long term. The Dow fell over 500 points, or 1.7%, the S&P 500 fell 1.83%, and Nasdaq fell 1.31%. Tesla stock rose 3%, as they had sold a record of 499,950 cars the previous year. Moderna stock rose 5.4%, boosted by optimism towards vaccinations.
The Dow rose 100 points on Tuesday, or around 0.3%, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq all increased by less than 1%. Meanwhile, the Georgia runoff elections have started. Republicans currently have a majority of 50 to 48 in the Senate, but if Democrats win both races, they will gain control of the Senate, as Kamala Harris would cast tie breaking votes. If Republicans win one seat, they have the majority. Both Trump and Biden are campaigning aggressively. If the Senate ends up Democrat-controlled, it will be easier to pass more stimulus measures including more spending and bigger checks for individuals. However, higher taxes and more regulations may also be passed under Demorat control. If the Senate stays Republican-controlled, there will be gridlock and the market will largely be unaffected.
Democrat Senator Warnock defeated Loeffler on November 6th and won one seat in the Georgia runoff election but it is too close to call for the Ossoff(D) vs Perdue(R) race. The EU approved of Moderna’s Covid vaccine, and it is cleared for use. They have preordered 160 million doses of the vaccine. Moderna stock has risen 5.40%. The Dow rose over 400 points today, probably due to optimism over the chance of the Democrats winning Georgia and passing more stimulus checks. Ossoff ultimately defeated Perdue, allowing Democrats to control Congress.
Later that day, Trump supporters rioted and stormed the Capitol building, wanting the election to be overturned or votes to be recounted. They were able to enter the Senate chamber, forcing politicians to reconvene elsewhere.
Elon Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person. Tesla stock rose 4.8% on Thursday as Democrats-controlled Congress may advocate for quicker adoption of electric vehicles to fight climate changes. Elon Musk plans to create a city on Mars and “accelerate humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring civilization.”(Bloomberg)
The Dow rose over 250 points, or 0.83%, to achieve a record of over 31,000 points. Nasdaq reached above 13,000 for the first time. Microsoft, Alphabet, and Apple rose between 2-3%. The S&P 500 traded above 3,800 for the first time.
The US lost 140,000 jobs in December, slowing down the labor market recovery. The unemployment rate remains at 6.7%. The leisure and hospitality sector lost nearly 500,000 jobs, reflecting the new restrictions on social gatherings. 75% of these losses were in restaurants and bars. People could not sit outdoors in cold weather, so restaurants lost customers and earnings, leading to layoffs. These numbers are significantly worse than expected. Stocks for travel companies may underperform in the short-term. .