January 4, 2022: -On Thursday, U.S. stocks decrease ahead of the final trading day of 2021. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 90.55 points, or 0.3%, at 36,398.08. The S&P 500 has dipped 0.3% to 4,778.73. The Nasdaq Composite has lost 0.2% at 15,741.56.
By the year-end is a historically strong time for stocks, dubbed the “Santa Claus rally.” Although, the period can bring volatility due to thin trading volume.
“The volumes have been low. I’m attributing a lot of this run in the previous week to seasonality, the proverbial Santa Claus rally,” Jason Snipe, Odyssey Capital Advisors founder and chief investment officer told CNBC.
On Thursday, Biogen slid 8% after Samsung denied a report in The Korea Economic Daily that it was in talks to buy Biogen. The stock led decliners on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Biogen shares had increased 9.5% on Wednesday on the report.
Weak performance from semiconductor stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Micron Technology decreased 2.4%, and AMD dipped 2.1%. On Wednesday, Macron warned Covid closures in China are impacting the company’s production output.
Cruise line stocks took a reach after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans avoid cruise travel regardless of vaccination status. Norwegian Cruise Line retreats 2.6%, and Carnival lost 1.3%.
On Thursday, some travel-related stocks rebounded after seesawing in trading this week as investors monitored the omicron Covid variant developments. Penn National Gaming gained 4.5% and led the S&P 500.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims last week came in lower than expected on the data front. Initial claims totaled 198,000 for the week ended December 25, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 205,000.
This year has experienced the second-highest number of record closes for the S&P 500 in a calendar year at 70 closing highs, trailing just 1995′s 77.
All three major averages are up for December. The S&P and Dow are on pace for a second positive month in the previous three, while the Nasdaq Composite is on track for a third straight month of gains.
The S&P is up over 27% for the year, and the Dow is nearly 10%. The Nasdaq has gained 22%, while the Russell 2000 is about 14%.