• The San Juan Daily Star

S&P 500 pauses at record high after four-day rally

The S&P 500 hit a record high on Tuesday as conviction in the U.S. economy helped investors shrug off concerns over Omicron-driven travel disruptions and store closures, following a four-day rally for U.S. stocks amid thin trading volumes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday shortened the recommended isolation time for Americans with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 to five days

from the previous guidance of 10 days.

The update follows approvals to new pills and more vaccines to fight COVID-19. It also helped investors look past thousands of flight cancellations and Apple Inc shutting its New York stores due to surging cases, and put U.S. stocks on pace for monthly gains.

“This policy change is sending the message that it is becoming more like the flu and less like the variants we saw early on when we had no treatments, no vaccines and it was much more deadly,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital in New York.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes, eight traded higher on Tuesday. Healthcare, materials as well as the Philadelphia chip index hit record highs.

At 11:18 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 149.83 points, or 0.41%, at 36,452.21 and the S&P 500 was up 3.23 points, or 0.07%, at 4,794.4239.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 44.49 points, or 0.28%, at 15,826.77 in choppy trading.

In company news, Boeing added 1.4% as Indonesia lifted a ban on the company’s 737 MAX, three years after the crash of one of its aircraft that led to the loss of all 189 people on board.

Markets are in one of the seasonally strong periods, also called the Santa Claus rally, with CFRA Research data showing the S&P 500 has on average risen 1.3% in the last five trading days of the year, and first two days of the new year since 1969.

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