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In 2021, the S&P 500 gained more than 27% and the Dow rose by about 10%.
Ahead of the last trading day in 2021, US stocks dipped in value despite predictions to the contrary.
After a six-day streak in the green zone, Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX: .DJI) crashed to red shedding 90.55 points, or 0.3%, at 36,398.08. Similarly, the S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) dropped by 0.3% to 4,778.73. Again, the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC) dipped by 0.2% at 15,741.56.
Leading up to Thursday’s trade was the usual Santa Claus rally that made stocks strong. As Jason Snipe, Odyssey Capital Advisors founder and chief investment officer said:
“I’m attributing a lot of this run … in the last week to seasonality – the proverbial Santa Claus rally.”
Despite the dip, the three major averages remain up for December. The S&P and Dow have a second month of gains while the Nasdaq Composite is set to have a third positive month.
Following The Korea Economic Daily’s report that Samsung was planning to buy Biogen, Biogen’s shares spiked by 9.5%. However, the value declined by 8% after Samsung denied any such intention.
On another front, semiconductor stocks dragged down the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Micron Technology fell 2.4% after it warned that China’s COVID closures were affecting its production output. AMD retreated by 2.1%.
It was inevitable that cruise line stocks would drop after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that Americans avoid cruises whether vaccinated or not. Thus, Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH) dipped by 2.6% while Carnival (NYSE: CCL) declined by 1.3%.
Although more transmissible than previous variants, studies have shown that the omicron variant may cause less severe diseases and lead to lesser hospitalizations. This caused travel-related stocks to rebound. Penn National Gaming led the gainers in the S&P 500 rising by 4.5%.
On the data front, jobless claims last week came in lower than expected, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial claims totaled 198,000 for the week ended December 25, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 205,000.
A Good Year for US Stocks
Overall, for the year 2021, the S&P 500 gained more than 27% and the Dow rose by about 10%. The Nasdaq and Russell 2000 complete the numbers gaining 22% and 14% respectively.
With 70 closing highs, the S&P 500 recorded its second-highest number of closes ever; a figure bested only by that of 1995 when it had 77 record highs.