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S&P 500 surges to 69th record close of 2021 as Santa rally powers US stocks

Investors have become more cautious about US stocks in recent weeks.

Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

  • US stocks rallied sharply Monday despite Omicron-related weakness in travel stocks.
  • The S&P 500 notched its 69th record close of the year, adding to gains during the trading session.
  • Major US indexes continued a year-end Santa Claus rally after picking up from last week’s momentum.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks jumped Monday, powering the S&P 500 to its 69th record close of the year, even as the Omicron coronavirus variant weighed on travel-related sectors.

Led by the Nasdaq, the so-called Santa Claus rally picked up from last week’s momentum. The top indexes added to gains over the course of the trading session after opening modestly higher. 

The S&P 500 is now up 27% for the year. The Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average remain off their November highs and are up 23% and 18%, respectively, for 2021. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Monday:

  • S&P 500: 4,791.30, up 1.4% 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 36,302.77, up 1% (352 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 15,871.26, up 1.4%

Read more: 9 crypto experts told us their investing outlooks for 2022, from bitcoin price predictions to high-conviction altcoin picks and what’s next for regulation

Despite a resurgence in coronavirus cases, investors have become less concerned about the Omicron 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 additional flights amid staffing shortages caused by the virus and winter weather. Cruise line stocks also fell with COVID-19 outbreaks reported on ships recently. Casino stocks, hotels and travel-booking sites sold off too.

Elsewhere in the market, Meta stock climbed more than 3% as the company’s Oculus VR app was the most popular download on Apple’s App Store on Christmas.  

Analysts at JPMorgan said the time is right for investors to take on more risk, explaining that investors have been overly cautious as evidenced by the narrow group of stocks driving the S&P 500’s record run. 

Decentraland will host its first fashion week in March as virtual fashion emerges as a hot corner of the metaverse market.

GoDaddy stock leapt 8% 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 1% 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 5% as China banned insiders at the ride-hailing company from selling stock, according to the FT.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil reversed earlier losses to rally 2.34% to $75.52 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 3.17% to $78.53 per barrel.

Gold dipped 0.14% to $1,809.320 per ounce, while bitcoin climbed 2.34% to $51,527. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped 1 basis point to 1.482%.

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