Day Traders Diary

12/23/22

The major averages closed in the green led by energy, but still posted a weekly loss as recession fears continue to batter investor sentiment. The S&P 500 rose 22 points or 0.6% to 3,844, while the Nasdaq Composite added 21 points or 0.2% to close at 10,497. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 176.44 points higher, or 0.5%, to 33,203.93.

The major indexes oscillated earlier in the session after the core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of inflation, came in slightly hotter than economists expected on a year-over-year basis, indicating that inflation is sticking despite the Fed's efforts to fight

"The economic numbers announced today highlight the difficulty for investors today, where weak numbers bring recession fears and strong numbers bring Fed fear," said Louis Navellier, founder and chief investment officer of growth investing firm Navellier & Associates.

"You just can't win right now on macro numbers," he added. "That is why it's now much more of a stock-picking market, but with all the index and ETF traders even stocks that are executing their business plan well can get pushed around meaningfully by associated losers."

The S&P 500 ended the week down about 0.2% for the week, posting its third straight weekly decline. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, lost 2% for the week, also for the third down week in a row. The Dow was the outperformer, posting a 0.9% gain.

Recession fears have resurged recently dashing some investors' hope for a year-end rally and leading to big losses in December. Investors worry that overtightening from central banks worldwide could force the economy into a downturn.

For December, the S&P 500 has lost 5.8%, while the Dow and Nasdaq have lost more than 4% and 8.5%, respectively. Those are the biggest monthly declines for the major averages since September. Stocks are also on pace for their worst annual performance since 2008.

Check out the stocks making the biggest moves midday:

Alphabet — The tech stock gained more than 1% after The National Football League said Thursday that its "Sunday Ticket" subscription package will go to subsidiary YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet, starting next season.

Tesla — Shares of the electric vehicle maker declined 2% after CEO Elon Musk said that he would hold off on selling any more Tesla stock for the next 18 to 24 months.

3M — The stock shed 1.6% after a U.S. judge barred the company from shifting liability to a subsidiary for injuries suffered by military members from allegedly defective earplugs.

This window for this year's "Santa Claus rally" – a period defined as the last five trading days of the year plus the first two trading days of the new year that historically has generated strong market returns – is officially open as of Friday.

"Given the challenging year for U.S. equity markets, including what could be one of the worst Decembers for the S&P 500 since 1950, investors are hoping Santa can deliver some positive returns and holiday cheer as we approach year-end," said Adam Turnquist, chief technical strategist at LPL Financial. If the S&P 500 finishes higher during this year's Santa Claus rally, it would mark the seventh consecutive period of positive returns, he added.

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