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Dow eyes 6th straight gain as US stocks point higher in thin trade

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  • US stocks traded slightly higher Wednesday despite thin trading ahead of the New Years holiday. 
  • The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 1.519% from Tuesday’s 1.480% rate
  • Bitcoin continues its downturn and was last seen at $47,344.
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US stocks traded slightly higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking for its sixth consecutive gain.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 added to narrow gains after showing mixed trade earlier. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 will try again for a fresh high after pulling back in the final minutes of trade Tuesday and missing out on its 70th record close of 2021. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

  • S&P 500: 4,794.80, up 0.15%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 36,453.78, up 0.15% (55.57 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 15,800.05, up 0.12%

US equities were generally trending higher amid the so-called Santa Claus rally, which typically runs from the last five trading days of the year to the first two sessions of the next. Wall Street’s optimistic outlook for corporate profit growth next year, paired with signs that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus appears to be producing milder symptoms, helped buoy sentiment.

Thus far, the S&P 500 is up 27% year-to-date and is on track to close above the 4,800 base case of Fundstrat, said Tom Lee, the investment firm’s head of research. 

“Looking back at 2021, this has been labored gains and we realize this has been a very difficult year for our active manager clients,” he said in a Wednesday note. “But the rise in equities, in our view, has been justified by the substantial economic resilience coupled with tremendous operating leverage of businesses.”

The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 1.519% from Tuesday’s 1.480% rate. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

Given the expected modest rise in interest rates in 2022, Lawrence Gillum, fixed income strategist at LPL Financial, said he is seeing a year-end 2022 forecast for the 10-year Treasury yield to be between 1.75% to 2.00%

“An aging global demographic that needs income, higher global debt levels, and an ongoing bull market in equities may keep interest rates from going much higher,” he said in a recent note.

Ahead of the new year, Insider rounded up the 10 biggest winners and losers of the S&P 500 for 2021 after a wild year for US stocks.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continues its downturn after failing to hold the $52,000-level despite a short-term breakthrough on Monday, said Adrian Kenny, senior sales trader at digital asset broker GlobalBlock. The digital asset was last seen trading at $47,344.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.14%, at $75.87 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slightly gained 0.1% to trade at $78.95.

Gold turned lower, slipping 0.74% to $1,793.04 per ounce after hitting its highest in a month in the previous session.

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