What Did the Stock Market Do Today? Dec. 4, 2020

Welcome to the stock market today! Investors are dealing with all sorts of novel coronavirus headlines on Friday. The United States hit a record for new daily cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Lawmakers continue to duke it out over a stimulus package. Lastly, what exactly is going on with the employment situation? Before we head into the weekend, it looks like we are in for one more busy day of stock market news. Follow along with InvestorPlace!

Latest Updates:

Stocks Close Out Friday Higher

[Friday, December 4, 4:03 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 closed higher by 0.88%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher by 0.83%
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed higher by 0.7%
  • The Russell 2000 closed higher by 2.33%
  • Gold is lower by 0.08% to $1,839.60
  • Bitcoin (CCC:BTC) is lower by 1.51% to $18,967.07

Cannabis Stocks Struggle Following MORE Act Vote

[Friday, December 4, 3:56 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a piece of landmark cannabis legislation. Investors are selling off leading cannabis stocks in response. As of this writing, names like Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) and Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) are all in the red. What does this mean for the stock market today?

Importantly, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. However, after passing the house, many experts are worried about its chances in the Republican-controlled Senate. Additionally, decriminalization does not guarantee a smooth path to legalization at the federal level. This reality, perhaps combined with the surge in cannabis stocks in recent days, is weighing these leading names down.

For more, read the InvestorPlace.com brief on cannabis stocks here.

Midday Update: Stocks Remain Positive

[Friday, December 4, 1:21 pm]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 is up 0.65%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.61%
  • The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.58%
  • The Russell 2000 is up 1.72%

Brent Crude Flirts With $50

[Friday, December 4, 11:06 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

After days of debate, OPEC+ reached an agreement Thursday night. OPEC+ consists of 24 total members, including the 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 additional members, such as Russia. The coalition has been at odds over oil production quotas for January 2021 and beyond. However, after reaching a compromise, OPEC+ agreed on a total production cut of 7.2 million barrels per day in January.

Importantly, this compromise has the Brent Crude benchmark flirting just shy of $50, at a current price of $49.04.

The longer-term story here is that oil prices have been steadily gaining, and many analysts see the OPEC+ agreement as just another step in the right direction. Broadly, with vaccine approval likely on the way for Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), the thinking is that mass vaccination will restart demand. With a rebound in manufacturing activity, travel and a whole lot of other pre-pandemic activities, oil prices could see a sustained boost.

November Jobs Report Shows Slowing Growth

[Friday, December 4, 10:30 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

Although it appears to have had little negative effect on the major indices, investors should be familiar with the November jobs report. This morning, we learned that nonfarm payrolls gained just 245,000 positions for the month. Not only did this come in worse than estimates for 440,000 positions, it shows rapidly slowing growth from the 610,000 positions added in November.

Additionally, investors should be aware of exactly where those 245,000 jobs came from. Ahead of the traditionally busy holiday shopping season, retail jobs fell. Instead, jobs in warehousing contributed much of the growth. This makes sense, especially as we learned that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has hired nearly 430,000 workers since January.

How do you play this? Well, InvestorPlace analyst Louis Navellier wrote recently that Amazon had its largest holiday shopping season ever between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As he puts it, that is a good sign. Using Amazon as a guide, Navellier said he is looking for large retailers with superior fundamentals and excellent e-commerce businesses. Read more of his thoughts on the 2020 holiday shopping season here.

7 Autonomous Vehicle Stocks to Buy on CGRO Rumors

[Friday, December 4, 10:19 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

It looks like this is the week of autonomous vehicles.

Yesterday, investors rejoiced when Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR) closed its reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Metropoulos. After rocketing higher Thursday, shares continue their ascent Friday morning. It appears that beyond the thrill of SPACs, investors want in on the self-driving car trend. And honestly, it makes a lot of sense.

In recent weeks, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has rolled out a limited beta program for a full self-driving feature. Other companies, including General Motors (NYSE:GM), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) are all working to ramp up their autonomous fleet options.

Further sweetening the deal, investors learned of another potential SPAC merger this morning. According to the rumors, Israeli firm Innoviz Technologies is in talks to come public through Collective Growth (NASDAQ:CGRO).

Want to dive in? As we wait for confirmation of the CGRO stock rumors, consider buying these seven autonomous vehicle stocks perfect for the future of transportation.

  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Veoneer (NYSE:VNE)
  • Aptiv (NYSE:APTV)
  • Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU)
  • Toyota (NYSE:TM)
  • General Motors (NYSE:GM)

Major Indices Start Friday Higher

[Friday, December 4, 9:34 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.19%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher by 0.22%
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened higher by 0.11%
  • The Russell 2000 opened higher by 0.58%

Stock Market Futures Hold Steady Despite Jobs Miss

[Friday, December 4, 9:29 am]
Contributed by Sarah Smith

  • S&P 500 futures are up 0.35%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 0.46%
  • Nasdaq Composite futures are up 0.28%
  • Russell 2000 futures are up 0.63%
  • Gold is up 0.08% to $1,842.60
  • Bitcoin (CCC:BTC) is down 1.48% to $18,973.26
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