Stock Market Today: Signed Stimulus Bill Sends Stocks Through the Roof

President Donald Trump pulled an abrupt 180 on his stimulus stoppage Sunday, sending equity investors into a buying mood Monday.

Concept art of a stock chart breaking through a wall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The major indices jumped out of the gate Monday and finished at fresh all-time highs as 2020 continues to pull every last trick from its hat before it fades into history.

This time, it was a game of "now you see it, now you don't" with federal stimulus funds.

After creating suspense that Washington's latest stimulus package might stall, President Donald Trump gave up his surprise protest and signed the $900 billion COVID rescue bill Sunday (opens in new tab) – mind you, after about 14 million Americans' unemployment benefits lapsed, forcing the Labor Department to scramble to keep those people from losing a week's worth of benefits to start the new year.

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But it was more than enough to keep Wall Street juiced, including many of its largest members: Apple (AAPL (opens in new tab), +3.6%), Amazon.com (AMZN (opens in new tab), +3.5%), Disney (DIS (opens in new tab), +3.0%) and Facebook (FB (opens in new tab), +3.6%) all put up robust gains Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.7% to 30,403), S&P 500 (+0.9% to 3,735) and Nasdaq Composite (+0.7% to 12,899) all advanced to record closes.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 declined 0.4% to 1,996.
  • U.S. crude oil futures dipped 1.3% to settle at $47.62 per barrel.
  • Gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,880.40 per ounce.

stock chart for 122820

Tech: Still a Good Bet in 2021?

The technology sector, which has heated up of late, is on pace to finish 2020 as the year's best sector by far. At 42% gains year-to-date, it's 15.4 percentage points ahead of the second-place consumer discretionary sector.

While that has resulted in some truly paunchy valuations, and while many analysts are calling for a rotation into value and cyclical sectors in the year to come, many pros are still bullish on technology as we head into 2021.

LPL Financial, for instance, says in its 2021 outlook that "we view technology companies as big beneficiaries of a split Congress, as the regulatory environment was expected to be much tougher in a Democratic-sweep scenario."

If you believe technology still has room to run but want to hedge your bets a little, you can always focus on funds. These 15 technology-specific ETFs (opens in new tab) help spread out the risk, or you could take it a step further with funds invested in the Nasdaq-100 (opens in new tab) – a tech-heavy index that also has some exposure to other sectors such as communications and consumer stocks.

But if you want to generate serious outperformance in the high-growth tech sector and can shoulder the risk, individual stocks remain the way to go. We've recently picked the pros' brains for their top 2021 tech picks, and the result is this list of 15 of the highest-ranked technology plays on the market. Discover what makes each of them stand out, even after many have already rocketed higher in 2020.

Kyle Woodley was long AMZN as of this writing.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.