The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted record closes on Thursday, the last trading day of 2020, as a volatile year, brutally disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, came to a close.
The Dow finished up 196 points, or 0.65%, to 30,606.48, while the S&P 500 was up 0.64% to 3,756.07 and the Nasdaq ticked up 0.14% to 12,888.28.
Both the Dow and the S&P reached intraday highs as well.
For the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 7.2%. It finished 2019 at 28,538.44.
The S&P 500 rose 16.3% in 2020, having finished 2019 at 3,230.78.
And the Nasdaq Composite advanced 43.6% this year. It closed 2019 at 8,972.60.
On Wednesday stocks had finished modestly higher and the Dow closed at a record.
Initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 787,000 in the week ending Dec. 26, the Labor Department said, the second straight decline.
Wall Street was expecting initial jobless claims…