The stock ends a little lower – WSJ

US stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday, reversing gains during the day after recent economic data indicated that a recent increase in Covid-19 infections related to the Omicron variant has not led to an increase in layoffs.

The S&P 500 ticked down 14.33 points, or 0.3%, to 4778.73 a day after the broad market index climbed to a record. The Nasdaq Composite fell 24.65 points, or 0.2%, to 15741.56 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 90.55 points, or 0.2%, to 36398.08.

Financial data on Thursday showed that first-time applications for unemployment benefits, a proxy for redundancies, remained close to the lowest decade of the week ending 25 December. This reflects a tight labor market where employers are holding on to their workers despite concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Despite record highs in Covid-1[ads1]9 cases in the US, some investors expect that high vaccination rates and signs of milder symptoms caused by the Omicron variant mean that the economy will avoid a recurrence of the disturbances seen at the start of the pandemic. Many decision-makers are more focused on hospital admissions than cases and seek to avoid stricter measures.

“The biggest benefit of this week is that the markets are really shrugging off the concerns about the implications of Omicron and what it means in the future,” said Whitney Sweeney, an investment strategist at Schroders.

Shares have often risen during the last five trading days of the year and the first two trading days of the new year – a phenomenon known as the “Santa Claus rally”. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has ended higher around 77% of the time during the period, according to Dow Jones Market Data, with an average gain of 1.3%.

Trading volumes that are lower than average, with many investors on holiday during the holidays, can cause choppy trading or large movements in the markets. Some also adjust portfolios to end the year.

Starting with the meme stock and cryptocurrency craze, 2021 has been a wild ride for many investors and traders. The market has steadily climbed to several records, indicating investors’ renewed confidence in risky assets in the face of rising inflation and record low yields on government bonds.

“The last three years have been a trend line, except for March 2020, but I do not expect it to continue,” said Nancy Tengler, CEO of Laffer Tengler Investments. “We are going to see more volatility because the market is going to be more dependent on revenue growth.”

Next year, investors will pay close attention to the strain on the supply chain for signs of easing, which could potentially affect consumer spending. Like 2021, analysts expect 2022 to continue to build momentum, but some warnings that more normalized returns may be ahead.

“Investors are looking for returns, and they are willing to take on more risk than they may have done in the past,” said Mrs. Sweeney. “We continue to believe that there are opportunities in equities, but they are only going to be more subdued than what we have seen this year.”

US stock indices set records on Wednesday.


Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Technique shares continued with shares on Twitter rising $ 1.7, or 4%, to $ 44.46. Metaplatforms,

Formerly known as Facebook, rose $ 1.42, or 0.4%, to $ 344.36. Netflix added $ 1.55, or 0.3%, to $ 612.09.

Shares of Biogen fell $ 18.31, or 7.1%, to $ 240 after Samsung Biologics called a media report that they were about to buy the company “not true.” US-listed shares in Didi Global rose $ 0.29, or 5.9%, to $ 5.23 after the company said third-quarter earnings fell.

In the bond markets, the return on the benchmark index for 10-year government bonds ticked down to 1.514%, the largest one-day decline in a week. Returns and prices move the other way around. The Federal Reserve has signaled that interest rates will rise in 2022, which could hurt some high-flying technology stocks.

Brent oil, the global oil reference, rose 9 cents per barrel, or 0.1%, to $ 79.32, the highest settlement value in about five weeks.

The Turkish lira has resumed its decline in recent days despite the Turkish government’s experimental plan to stabilize it. Investors and economists expect the lira to weaken further due to high inflation and recently reduced interest rates.

Abroad, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.1% higher. Indices in Asia ended with mixed results. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.4%.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at

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