US Stock Markets Ended Dec. 23, 2021

The S&P 500 Index started with a selloff but ended the holiday shortened week with a three-day positive streak to finish up 2.28%. Investors responded negatively on Monday as Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he would not support Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan in its current form, to the surprise of many in Washington. Goldman Sachs chief economist indicated he would lower his 2022 GDP estimate by around 1% in the event the bill does not pass. Markets rallied after the Monday selloff as more positive news was released regarding the lower severity of the Omicron variant. Israel became the first country to authorize a fourth vaccine dose to its elderly population while US health officials have not yet authorized a second booster shot, although some experts believe that this new wave may bring the US case count above 1 million per day, over four times the previous record. December has been historically volatile relative to Decembers of past years, the S&P 500 has only moved less than 0.5% in a day a single time this month. All eleven GICS sectors finished the week positively, the best performing sectors were Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology while Utilities and Real Estate performed the worst. The top contributor to the return of the S&P 500 was Tesla, Inc. (TSLA, +14.4%) as CEO Elon Musk announced that he had completed his $10B sale of personal stock. Carnival Corp (CCL, +16.0%) and Expedia Group, Inc. (EXPE, 15.4%) also surged on recent data that travel bookings have been strong despite the initial onset of the Omicron variant. Vaccine manufacturers Moderna, Inc. (MRNA, -15.2%) and Pfizer, Inc. (PFE, -1.3%) had rough weeks as their shots have not been as effective against Omicron as with Delta. With one week left in the year, the S&P 500 sits at an all time high, up over 27.5% year to date. With a perfect setup for a "Santa Rally", the market index could return over 30% in 2021 if all goes well in the last five trading days of the year.
Posted on Monday, December 27, 2021 @ 8:25 AM

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.