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“The record shows I took the blows and did it my way.” – Frank Sinatra, “My Way”
What most people around the world have been wishing for months now is finally starting to come true, and in some areas of the world, it already has. 2020 is coming to an end! Unfortunately, 2021 is going to start out looking a lot like 2020, but hopefully, by the end of the year, it’s looking more like something better.
In markets today, things are understandably quiet for the last trading day of the year. The only significant data point of the day is jobless claims. Initial claims came in lower than expected at 787K which was below consensus forecasts for a reading of 830K. Continuing Claims also came in more than 100K below the consensus forecast of 5.39 million and were the lowest of the COVID era. So, at least there’s some positive economic news to close out the year.
There’s typically not a lot of liquidity in markets on the last trading day of the year, so you never know what is going to happen, especially in the final minutes of trading for the year. However, whether we finish the day higher or lower, don’t read too much into it.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for updates on the latest market news and events, a recap of global equity market performance, an update on the latest national and international COVID trends, and much more.
Nasdaq futures are currently indicating a higher open, and if it sticks through the closing bell, the index will have finished the day higher on 61.1% of all trading days in 2020. At that level, 2020 would rank as the fourth-highest percentage of positive days for a given year in the index’s history. The only three years that saw a higher percentage of positive days were 1978 (65.5%), 1979 (66.0%), and 1980 (64.0). The big difference between now and those three years, though, is that while in 2020 the Nasdaq is a well known and widely followed exchange where some of the largest companies in the world are listed, back in 1980, most people probably had no idea what the Nasdaq was.
If today ends up being a down day for the Nasdaq, 2020 would then fall into the fifth position in terms of the highest percentage of positive days, trailing 1989 (61.9%).