A tumultuous year ended positively when stocks rose in December, encouraged by the launch of several COVID-19 vaccines and the signing of a new stimulus package.
To end the month, the S&P 500 was up 4%, the Dow was up 3% and the Nasdaq was up 6%.
So, what happened?
The markets rallied in December in the hopes that another stimulus bill will pass soon and towards the tail-end of the month, it did.
The $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill includes, among other items, a second stimulus check of $600, an additional $300 in extended unemployment insurance for 11 weeks, the continuation of key programs for the unemployed, and funding for food and rent assistance.
Covid-19 infection rates continued to soar throughout December, despite state and local authorities announcing further closures. But markets appear to have turned a blind eye to it as soon as the FDA authorized the largest mass vaccination drive in American history.
The IPO market continued to sizzle in December. Some household names like Doordash and Airbnb rang the virtual bell and IPO’d before Christmas. And Airbnb had a wonderful debut. It opened at $68 and closed at $146 on its first day of trading, a whopping 112% pop.
So, what next?
Historically, January is one of the best months of the year, with average gains of 1.2%, according to Yardeni Research. And while some experts say traders could sell some of their winning shares as soon as 2020 begins, they expect the resulting market jitters to be temporary.
There’s a trade deal on the horizon between the U.S. and China. Investors like certainty and if the deal goes through, the markets will breathe a sigh of relief and even rally.
Of course, there’s the inauguration of the new U.S. President kicking off the 100-days countdown. Markets will keep a close eye on what’s said and what’s actually done.
Let’s do the numbers.
Value: $20,486 | Gain: +$595 | Return: ▲3% | Dividends: $58 | Investment: $3,554
Yes, I reached $20,000 in portfolio value before the end of the month. And no, it wasn’t because one of the companies in my portfolio had an amazing month.
I ended November with $16,535. I had sufficient coverage in my savings, so I figured why not try and get to $20,000 before the end of the month. Fortunately for me, it worked out fine.
In December, I invested $3,554 in the following dividend paying companies:
In December, I received $58 in dividends from the following companies:
Stryker announced a dividend increase of 9.6% to $0.63 per share; the previous payout was $0.575.
Owens Corning announced a dividend increase of 8.3% to $0.26 per share; the previous payout was $0.24.
Mastercard announced a dividend increase of 10% to $0.44 per share; the previous payout was $0.40.
Portfolio All-time (1/7/2021)
Projected Dividend Income
Annual: $670 | Monthly: $56