S&P 500 and Dow set record highs to end the year
31-Dec-20 16:20 ET
Dow +196.92 at 30606.42, Nasdaq +18.28 at 12888.29, S&P +24.03 at 3756.07 https://www.briefing.com/stock-market-update
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (+0.6%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.7%) set intraday and closing record highs on New Year's Eve, with the benchmark index finishing the year with a 16.3% gain. The Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) and Russell 2000 (-0.3%) underperformed today, but the Nasdaq managed to eke out a gain.
For most of the day, the S&P 500 traded virtually unchanged amid a lack of conviction from buyers and sellers. Buying interest, however, increased noticeably shortly after the early close of the Treasury market at 2:00 p.m. ET on no specific news catalyst, which was symptomatic of reduced market participation.
The advance was led by the financials (+1.3%), utilities (+1.6%), real estate (+1.3%), and health care (+1.1%) sectors with gains over 1.0%; conversely, the energy (-0.8%) and consumer discretionary (-0.02%) sectors ended the session in the red.
The latest weekly report for initial and continuing claims showed initial claims decrease by 19,000 to 787,000 (Briefing.com consensus 800,000) and continuing claims decline to their lowest level since March at 5.219 million. The market didn't react to the data, nor to much of anything today, really.
On the coronavirus front, daily U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths hit new highs on Wednesday, the faster-spreading variant of the coronavirus was recorded in California, San Francisco will reportedly extend its stay-at-home and quarantine-after-travel orders indefinitely, and vaccination efforts in the U.S. are running behind schedule.
Recapping the moves in the Treasury market, the 2-yr yield decreased one basis point to 0.12% (-145 bps in 2020), and the 10-yr yield decreased one basis point to 0.92% (-100 bps in 2020). The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.3% to 89.93. WTI crude futures decreased 0.3%, or $0.12, to $48.27/bbl (-21.5% in 2020).
Reviewing Thursday's economic data:
Initial claims for the week ending December 26 decreased by 19,000 to 787,000 (Briefing.com consensus 800,000). Continuing claims for the week ending December 19 decreased by 103,000 to 5.219 million.
That's the lowest level of continuing claims since March, yet the key takeaway and harder-hitting reality is that initial claims were just 220,000 in the same period a year ago while continuing claims were just 1.728 million.
Looking ahead, investors will receive Construction Spending for November and the IHS Markit Manufacturing PMI for December on Monday when the market reopens for the new year.
Nasdaq Composite +43.6% YTD
Russell 2000 +18.4% YTD
S&P 500 +16.3% YTD
Dow Jones Industrial Average +7.3% YTD
Dow 30606.42 +196.92 (0.65%)
Nasdaq 12888.29 +18.28 (0.14%)
SP 500 3756.07 +24.03 (0.64%)
10-yr Note +1/32 0.918
NYSE Adv 1843 Dec 1269 Vol 806.6 mln
Nasdaq Adv 1739 Dec 2010 Vol 4.7 bln
Strong: Financials, Utilities, Real Estate, Health Care
Weak: Energy, Consumer Discretionary
Moving the Market
-- S&P 500 and Dow close at record highs
-- Strong finish amid reduced market participation ahead of New Year's Day
-- Relative underperformance in small-caps and technology stocks
WTI crude futures settled slightly lower
31-Dec-20 15:25 ET
Dow +143.62 at 30553.12, Nasdaq -5.87 at 12864.14, S&P +15.37 at 3747.41
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 is trading at fresh session highs with a 0.4% gain. The Russell 2000 is trading flat.
One last look at the S&P 500 sectors shows financials (+1.1%), utilities (+1.1%), and health care (+0.9%) outperforming, while the energy (-0.5%) and consumer discretionary (-0.2%) sectors remain in the red. The information technology sector, which is up 41.9% this year, is trading little changed.
WTI crude futures settled lower by 0.3%, or $0.12, to $48.27/bbl. For the year, crude prices fell 21.5%.