Day Traders Diary

12/30/21

The major averages sold off into the close ahead of the final trading day of 2021. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 90 points, or 0.25%. The S&P 500 dipped 14 points or 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite lost 24 points or 0.16%.

The end of the year is a historically strong time for stocks, which has been dubbed the "Santa Claus rally." However, the period can bring volatility due to thin trading volume.

Biogen slid roughly 8% on Thursday after Samsung denied a report in The Korea Economic Daily that it was in talks to buy Biogen. The stock led decliners on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Biogen shares had surged 9.5% on Wednesday on the report.

Energy and chip stocks weighed on the S&P 500.

Cruise line stocks took a hit after the CDC recommended Americans avoid cruise travel regardless of vaccination status. Norwegian Cruise Line retreated 1.4%.

Some travel-related stocks rebounded Thursday after seesawing in trading this week as investors monitor developments with the omicron Covid variant. Penn National Gaming gained 4.4%. Wynn Resorts ticked up more than 2%.

On the data front, jobless claims last week came in lower than expected, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial claims totaled 198,000 for the week ended Dec. 25, while economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 205,000.

On Wednesday the S&P 500 posted its 70th record close of the year. This year has seen the second-highest number of record closes for the benchmark index during a calendar year, trailing just 1995′s 77 record closing highs. The Dow also closed at its first high since November and saw its sixth-straight positive session.

All three major averages are up for the month of December. The S&P and Dow are on pace for a second positive month in the last three, while the Nasdaq Composite is on track for a third straight month of gains.

For the year, the S&P is up more than 27% and the Dow is up more than 19%. The Nasdaq has gained roughly 23%, while the Russell 2000 is up nearly 15%.

The S&P 500 has risen during the Santa Claus rally period — the last five trading days of the year followed by the first two sessions in January — 78.5% of the time since 1928, according to Bank of America.

All comments contained herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as a solicitation to buy or sell any security. The firm does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or make any warranties regarding results from it's usage.