by Daniel Shvartsman
Investing.com - U.S. stock markets kicked off the last week of 2021 trading in line with much of the year, as indices went higher.
The S&P 500 set an all-time high in early trading, passing the 4750 mark. At 10:08am ET (1508 GMT) the index was up to 4757, up .64% on the day. The NASDAQ Composite was up .8% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged at gains of only .33%. The leading small-cap index, the Russell 2000 , was down .25%.
While the holiday week sees both low trading volumes and limited market moving events, the steadiest news is around the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite a bevy of flight cancellations in the U.S. and beyond, investors have been content to focus on reports of Omicron's lower severity as a sign that biting restrictions on the economy and consumer behavior are unlikely.
Airlines, including Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL ), United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL ), and American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL ), are trading more than 2% lower on news of the cancellations, and cruise lines are trading lower on reports of Covid-19 outbreaks on ships operated by Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL ) and Carnival (NYSE: CUK ) Corporation (NYSE: CCL ), with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE: NCLH ) trading off in sympathy.
Beyond that, a couple small-cap stocks in the medical sector are showing the feast or famine nature of the industry: Microbot Medical (NASDAQ: MBOT ) is up nearly 60% on news it will collaborate with Stryker (NYSE: SYK )'s Neurovascular unit to combine its neurovascular instruments with Microbot's LIBERTY Robotic System to create what they described as the world's first dedicated robotic procedural kits for use in neurovascular procedures. BridgeBio Pharma (NASDAQ: BBIO ), meanwhile, is down 70%+ after its Phase 3 trial failed to reach its primary endpoint.
Crude Oil WTI Futures recovered from a pre-market sell-off to trade up .14%, amidst concerns that the various travel cancellations might impede the demand recovery for oil in the short term. Brent Oil Futures were up 1.1% in early morning trading.
Leading stocks that are doing well in Monday trading include Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) (+2.8%), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) (3.4%), Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD ) (3.3%), Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: RIVN ) (6.8%), and Upstart (NASDAQ: UPST ) (5.6%). Among losers are Boeing (NYSE: BA ) (-1.4%), Lucid Group Inc (NASDAQ: LCID ) (-1.8%), and Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX ) (-7.2%).
Meme stocks are also in the spotlight again to round out 2021, as GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME ) is off 3.4% after Ascendiant Capital reiterated its sell rating on the video game retailer and lowered its price target. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE: AMC ) is also trading off 2.3%, despite the news of the new Spiderman movie crossing the $1B box office mark, the first movie to do so since the onset of the pandemic.
News Corp A (NASDAQ: NWSA ) is up 1% with the market after news it would be buying Base Chemicals, a data publication, from S&P Global Inc (NYSE: SPGI ) and IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO ) as part of the latter two companies' merger process.
Check out Investing.com's 2022 outlook series here.
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