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S&P 500 hits fresh record high as US stocks extend ‘Santa Claus rally’ to begin last trading week of the year

Trader Leon Montana works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stocks NYSE worry

AP Photo/Richard Drew

  • US stocks rose early Monday to extend a “Santa Claus rally” after taking a day off on Friday for Christmas.
  • The S&P 500 hit another new intraday high following its 68th record close of the year on Thursday.
  • Airline stocks fell after carriers canceled thousands of flights over the holiday weekend.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks pointed higher on Monday as last week’s “Santa Claus rally” continued into the last trading week of the year.

After setting its 68th record close of 2021 on Thursday, the S&P 500 notched yet another new intraday high. But thin trading volume between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays could result in volatility.

Markets in the UK were closed Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday. Indexes in Asia rose after China’s central bank over the weekend pledged more support for the economy.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Monday:

  • S&P 500: 4,748.27, up 0.5% 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 36,047.40, up 0.3% (97 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 15,743.14, up 0.6%

Investors have become less concerned about the Omicron coronavirus variant’s effect on the economy overall as its symptoms appear less severe than Delta’s.

But airline stocks sold off Monday after carriers canceled thousands of flights over the holiday weekend due to staffing shortages caused by the virus. Cruise line stocks also fell with COVID-19 outbreaks reported on ships recently. 

Elsewhere in the market, GoDaddy stock rallied 5% after the Wall Street Journal reported activist investor Starboard Value has taken a 6.5% stake worth about $800 million in the web-hosting company.

Moderna slipped 3% after the Financial Times reported the biotech is facing a shareholder proposal to share its coronavirus vaccine technology with lower-income countries and explain its high prices.

Didi Global dropped 2% as China banned insiders at the ride-hailing company from selling stock, according to the FT.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil eased 1% to $73.03 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.25% to $76.33 per barrel.

Gold dipped 0.27% to $1,807.70 per ounce, while bitcoin climbed 1.81% to $51.261. The yield on the 10-year Treasury was flat at 1.493%.

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