We had some big news overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJX: .DJI) – the United States’ oldest and most famous market index – hit 30,000 points for the first time in history. It ended up closing at 30,046 points this morning (our time). That means the Dow is now up more than 4% year to date, up more than 1.5% from the pre-crash highs we saw in February, and up more than 61% from the lows we saw on 23 March. The other major US indexes – namely the S&P 500 Index (SP: .INX) and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQ: .IXIC) – are also at, or very close to, all-time highs themselves.
Keep in mind this is all happening in the year of a global pandemic and a nasty worldwide recession.
ASX 200 joins the Dow party
Over on the ASX today, the markets are also breaking records. The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has today risen another 0.56% to 6,693.20 points at the time of writing, after climbing as high as 6,710 points earlier today. This puts the ASX 200 past the 6,690 point level it began 2020 at, meaning all the losses the onset of the coronavirus pandemic brought to the markets in 2020 have been erased. Yes, the ASX 200 is now up more than 47% from the lows of 23 March.
Sure, the ASX 200 isn’t doing quite as well as the US markets have been. We are still around 6.5% off of the February high (and all-time high) of 7,162 points the ASX 200 hit on 20 February, whereas the US has already eclipsed this milestone. But if things keep going the way they have been in November so far (the ASX 200 is up nearly 13% since 30 October), we won’t have to wait too long.
So what’s driving this rally? As I pontificated last week, the ASX 200 index is heavily influenced by the performance of the big four banks, which make up roughly 20% of the entire index’s weighting. Well, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is up more than 18% over the past month, as is Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ). National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) is up more than 23% over the same period. Thus, we can probably thank the ASX banking sector for a large part of the ASX 200’s success in November so far.
Where to invest $1,000 right now
When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*
Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.
*Returns as of June 30th
Sebastian Bowen owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.
- Joe Biden unveils massive US$1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package – January 15, 2021 4:20pm
- Top fundie Hamish Douglass warns of ASX share market FOMO – January 15, 2021 3:53pm
- 2 ASX ETFs to buy for 2021 and beyond – January 15, 2021 3:24pm