U.S. stocks were mixed Thursday as fresh data indicated that a recent uptick in Covid-19 infections hasn’t led to a surge in layoffs. 

The S&P 500 ticked up 0.1% after the broad-market index climbed to a record a day earlier. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%.

The figures showed that first-time applications for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, stayed near decade lows in the week ended Dec. 25. That reflects a tight labor market in which employers are holding on to their workers despite concerns around the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Stocks typically rise during the last five trading days of the year and the first two trading days of the new year—a phenomenon known as the “Santa Claus rally.” Since 1950, the S&P 500 has ended higher about 77% of the time during the period, according to Dow Jones Market Data, with an average gain of 1.3%.

Despite Covid-19 cases hitting a record in the U.S., some investors expect that high vaccination rates and signs of milder symptoms caused by the Omicron variant mean the economy will avoid a repeat of the disruption seen at the start of the pandemic. Many decision makers are more focused on hospitalizations than cases and are seeking to avoid stricter measures.

Lower-than-average trading volumes, with many investors off for the holiday season, could cause choppy trading or outsize moves in markets.

“On the equity side, we’re grinding higher,” said Des Lawrence, a senior investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “It looks like markets are a little bit more stable but liquidity is very thin at the moment, volumes are really light.”

U.S. stock indexes notched fresh records on Wednesday.

Photo: Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Shares of Biogen fell 5.5% after Samsung Biologics called a media report that it was about to buy the company “not true.” U.S.-listed shares of Didi Global rose 1.4% after the ride-hailing firm said its third-quarter revenue dropped.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked up to 1.543% from 1.542% Wednesday. Yields and prices move inversely.

The Turkish lira fell 3.5% against the dollar. The currency has resumed its decline in recent days despite the Turkish government’s experimental plan to stabilize it. Investors and economists expect the lira to depreciate further due to high inflation and recently lowered interest rates.

Overseas, the Stoxx Europe 600 edged 0.3% higher. Indexes in Asia closed with mixed performances. China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ticked up 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.4%.

The Year in Markets

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Source: WSJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Two Men Indicted For Raping Children – Scioto County Daily News

Two Men Indicted For Raping Children The Scioto County Grand Jury indicted…

Colorado gay club shooting suspect set to return to court

DENVER – The suspect accused of entering a Colorado gay nightclub clad…

Lotto ticket winners in Jacksonville and Ocala lose money to DEO overpayments

OCALA, Fla. – Two Florida men in two different cities each won…

WaPo ‘Immediately’ Confirmed Hunter’s Laptop After Discrediting It for 532 Days

The Washington Post’s top fact checker, Glenn Kessler, claimed on Monday the Post “immediately went to…

Homosassa Man Charged With Shooting And Killing His Wife During Domestic Dispute

HOMOSASSA, Fla. – On Friday, December 2nd, at approximately 6:23 p.m., the…

Kevin Jackson Murdered Phillip Betts: Police

Kevin Jackson A Family Dollar customer is accused of murdering a man…

Summer Haven residents to meet with county leaders as erosion continues to threaten homes

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Summer Haven residents are meeting Tuesday evening…

Farmers of color sue government for promised federal aid

DES MOINES, Iowa – The federal government has illegally broken a promise…

Michael Avenatti’s Prison Sentence Explained

In 2019, Gary Franklin, the founder and coach of a youth basketball…

Confusion over Iran’s religious police as women drop hijab

CAIRO (AP) — Confusion over the status of Iran’s religious police grew…

Sheffield United's Championship rivals plunged into uncertainty after eviction notice

Coventry City have been issued with the notice by the new owners…

What’s at stake as Trump Org. trial deliberations continue

NEW YORK – It’s one ballot former President Donald Trump would rather…