S&P 500 Closes at All-Time High on Quiet Pre-Holiday Trading, Omicron Optimism

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S&P 500 Closes at All-Time High on Quiet Pre-Holiday Trading, Omicron Optimism
Credit: © Reuters.

by Daniel Shvartsman

Investing.com - The S&P 500 finished at an all-time high close, just missing its intraday all-time high, and other leading U.S. indices closed higher to finish the holiday-shortened trading week, as low trading volumes and optimism over the Omicron Covid-19 variant being less severe allowed the fabled "Santa rally" effect to set in a little early.

The S&P 500 ended the day fading from session highs, up .62% to 4725.74. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 197 points to 35951, up .55%, while the NASDAQ Composite again outshone its peers, finishing the day up .84% at 15653.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) again was a standout, rising nearly 6% as investors shrugged off CEO Elon Musk's continued share sales. There was excitement to go around in electric vehicles, with Nikola Corp (NASDAQ: NKLA ) ending the day up 18%, Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ: LAZR ) up nearly 4.4%, and Nio (NYSE: NIO ) up 2.2%.

Micron Technologies (NASDAQ: MU ) flirted with all-time highs, finishing up 4.5% as investors soaked in the glow of the company's strong report earlier this week. Semiconductors as a sector continued to rise, with the iShares Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ: SOXX ) up 1%.

On the flipside, vaccine makers and pharmaceutical companies working to treat Covid-19 sold off amid continued reports that the Omicron variant poses a great risk of contagion but perhaps a lesser risk of serious disease and hospitalization, which also has led governments being less willing to take extreme containment measures that might impinge on consumer behavior or the economy more generally. Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE ) closed down 1.4%, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA ) recovered to only be down .5% for the day, and Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX ) closed down 3.3% despite promising news about its vaccine's efficacy against the omicron variant and other forms of Covid-19.

Bitcoin is trading above $50,000 again at $50,888 as of this writing, as the cryptocurrency sector more broadly rode the market buoyancy. Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ: COIN ) benefited as well, closing up 5.3% on the day.

In a sign that the any news was bad news, both Quidel (NASDAQ: QDEL ) and Crox traded lower after announcing deals. Quidel announced a $6B deal for Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and sold off 17%, while Crox sold off nearly 12% after announcing the $2.5B acquisition of HEYDUDE.

In commodities,  Crude Oil WTI Futures finished the week up 4%, buoyed by the same market conviction that economic activity won't be overly slowed down by the omicron news. Gold Futures meanwhile finished at five-week highs, as inflation concerns off of a hot personal consumer expenditures report this morning may have boosted the yellow metal.

For the week, the S&P 500 finished up 2.3%, while the Dow finished up 1.65%, and the Nasdaq finished up 3.2%.

The U.S. markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Christmas.

(Article published at 4:04 pm ET, updated at 4:18pm)

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  • Saurav Bhattacharyya @Saurav Bhattacharyya
    A reasoably brief news article on the US markets yet forgetting to mention sectoral performances , which, to every investor is so vital !
    Like 0

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