Wall Street Indexes on The Rise

Retailers See Growth Coming Off the Holiday Shopping Season, Lifting Stock Indexes.

Stocks advanced modestly in the afternoon trading session on Wall Street, bringing the S&P 500 close to another all-time high.

The market is on track to improve by more than 27% in 2021, according to the benchmark index. That would be its best performance since 2019, another great year for the market overall.

On Wednesday afternoon, the S&P 500 was up 0.1 %, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq were up 0.3 % and 0.1 %, respectively. All three indexes opened the day in the green.

Retailers and companies reliant on purchasing performed better coming off the Christmas holiday shopping season. Target, Nike, Kroger, Under Armour and AutoZone were all up 1.3% or more.

Health care stocks also saw improvement. Biogen jumped 7.6%.

Communication, technology and energy stocks did not fair as well. Facebook parent company Meta Platforms slipped 0.9%, chipmaker Nvidia fell 1.3% and Exxon Mobil dropped 0.8%.

In the previous several weeks, investors have become more comfortable with the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The rapidly spreading virus appears to be less severe and cause fewer deaths and hospitalizations than other variants of the virus.

Much is still uncertain about omicron, which is swiftly spreading and prompting a return to pandemic restrictions in some areas. The variant is rapidly becoming the most widespread variety on the planet.

Though the risk of a virus outbreak and travel restrictions remain a major worry, most large investors have completed their 2021 bets and are expected to keep their ground until next week. Trading has been sluggish this week, with less than 3 billion shares changing hands on the NYSE over the previous two days, in contrast to the 4.5 billion shares bought and sold on a typical day.

In the final days of 2021, bond yields were climbing. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.54% compared to 1.48% on the previous day.

For 2022 trading ideas, check out marketcents.co's 3 Stocks Ready to Rebound in 2022.

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