Consumer services

Dow, S&P close at record highs as Omicron worries ease

  • Dow Jones and S&P close at historic highs

December 29 (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 closed at historic highs on Wednesday thanks to a boost from retailers like Walgreens and Nike, as investors shrugged off concerns about the Omicron variant spreading.

The Dow Jones has now risen six consecutive trading days, marking the longest streak of gains since a streak of seven sessions March 5-15 this year.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) and Nike Inc have risen amid recent reports suggesting holiday sales were strong for U.S. retailers. Read more

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. trade deficit for goods reached its highest level on record in November, as imports of consumer goods hit a record high as the coronavirus pandemic limited Americans’ spending on services. Read more

Some early studies indicating a reduced risk of hospitalization in Omicron cases allayed some investors’ concerns about travel disruption and propelled the S&P 500 to record highs this week.

“The market has started to recognize that the Omicron variant is oddly good news, as it will run out more quickly because it is easily transmitted, but it is less likely to overwhelm hospitals,” said Jay Hatfield, founder and CEO of Infrastructure. Capital management in New York. Still, he said Omicron is arguably going to be a headwind for at least the next month or so.

A trader works in the dealing room of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York, United States, December 28, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

Meanwhile, the S&P 1500 Airlines Index (.SPCOMAIR) fell. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and Alaska Air Group (ALK.N) again canceled hundreds of flights on Tuesday as the daily tally of infections in the United States rose. Read more

Two of the 11 major S&P sector indices fell, the energy index (.SPNY) and the consumer services sector (.SPLRCL), are in the red.

Typically, the last five trading days of the year and the first two of the following year are seasonally strong for US stocks, known as the “Santa Gathering”. However, market participants cautioned against over-reading daily movements as the holiday season tends to see some of the lowest volumes that can lead to exaggerated price action.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 6.59 points, or 0.14%, to finish at 4,792.94 points, while the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) lost 16.15 points, or 0.10%, to 15,765.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 90.95 points, or 0.25%, to 36,491.04.

The S&P 500 plunged in the lowest trading volume session of 2021 on Tuesday, ending a four-day winning streak. Read more

As 2021 draws to a close, major U.S. stock indexes are on track for their third consecutive year of stunning annual returns, boosted by historic fiscal and monetary stimulus. The S&P 500 is forecasting its best three-year performance since 1999.

Next year, the focus will be on the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike trajectory amid soaring prices caused by supply chain bottlenecks and a strong economic rebound. .

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Reporting by Echo Wang in Taos, New Mexico; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Anisha Sircar in Bangalore; edited by Uttaresh.V and Diane Craft

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.