Call it an extended Santa Claus Rally or the January Effect, but markets continued to smash records on the first day of trading of 2020. All major American indices made new closing highs Thursday, with the Nasdaq rallying 1.33% and the Dow 1.16%. As usual, tech stock led the way, with Apple topping $300 for the first time, fuelled by optimism over its holiday sales. Apple gained 2.28% Thursday and shot up 86% in 2019. Also Thursday, Facebook climbed 2.29% to make a new 53-week high of $209.78. But they were nothing compared to AMD, which leapt 6.8% after an analyst raised his price target on the chipmaker from $40 to $58.
Not to be outdone, the TSX inched up to nearly crack 17,100, with industrials and tech leading the charge, while bond proxies like REITs and utilities slipped down. Shopify continued to soar, rising 2.67%, while tech peer Enghouse Systems rallied 5.54% after it announced the acquisition of Dialogic Group. Busmaker New Flyer Industries, which was battered in 2019, enjoyed a 5.7% rally after announcing that Los Angeles would order more of its vehicles. The backdrop to all this optimism (and greed) is investors now view world trade as a low threat, but tariffs have hurt American workers and could impact the November U.S. vote. Welcome to 2020.