Traders Are Hoping for a 'Santa Rally'

S&P 500 breaks 4-day winning streak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 28, 2021 3:48 PM CST
Investors Have Fingers Crossed for 'Santa Claus' Rally
Bond yields mostly edged lower Tuesday.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Tuesday, leaving the S&P 500 just shy of its latest record high set a day earlier. After wavering between gains and losses, the benchmark index closed down 0.1%. The slight loss broke a four-day wining streak for the S&P 500.Some 66% of the companies in the S&P 500 were up, but a slide in technology, health care and communication stocks outweighed gains in industrial firms, banks and elsewhere in the market, the AP reports. Small company stocks also fell. pulling the Russell 2000 index 0.2% lower. US crude oil rose. The S&P 500 fell 4.84 points, or 0.1%, to 4,786.35. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95.83 points, or 0.3%, to 36,398.21. The Nasdaq fell 89.54 points, or 0.6%, to 15,781.72.

"We did have four straight days of upward movement," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. "Investors are keeping their fingers tightly crossed that we will end up with a positive 'Santa Claus' rally." That's what Wall Street calls a rally in the final five days in December and the first two trading days in January. Since 1950, the S&P 500 index has risen an average of 1.3% during those seven days. If the "Santa rally" doesn’t arrive, some traders see it as an omen that stocks may fall in the upcoming year.

Technology companies, which did well on Monday, led the decliners in the S&P 500. Graphics chip maker Nvidia fell 2%. Health care and communication services stocks also weighed on the market. Pfizer fell 2% and Moderna dropped 2.2%. Industrial companies, banks, and household goods makers were among the better performers. Boeing rose 1.5%, Synchrony Financial was 0.6% higher, and Campbell Soup gained 2.9%. Airline stocks recovered some of their losses from this month. American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines were up around 2%. The market got some encouraging news Monday when the CDC reduced the amount of time an infected person would need to isolate if they tested positive.

(More stock market stories.)

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