S&P 500 closes at record high thanks to joy in retail sales


  • Travel stocks fall on stranded flights linked to Omicron
  • Dow up 0.98%, S&P 500 up 1.38%, Nasdaq up 1.39%

Dec. 27 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 Index (.SPX) closed on Monday at a record high, its fourth consecutive session of gains, as strong US retail sales underscored economic strength and eased concerns linked to flight cancellations caused by Omicron which affected travel stocks.

Retail sales in the United States grew 8.5% year-on-year this holiday season, fueled by an e-commerce boom, giving the sales index a boost, according to a report by Mastercard Inc. retail S&P 500 (.SPXRT). Read more

Travel-related stocks, generally sensitive to coronavirus news, fell after U.S. airlines canceled around 800 more flights on Monday after denying thousands over Christmas weekend, as Omicron cases soared. arrow. Read more

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The S&P 1500 Airlines Index (.SPCOMAIR) lost 0.57%. Cruise lines Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH.N), Royal Caribbean (RCL.N) and Carnival Corp (CCL.N) fell 2.55%, 1.35% and 1.18% respectively, among the highest S&P 500 benchmark declines.

“The market is in this interesting place where we have a strong consumer, with spending up 8% year over year. Personal consumption accounts for 70% of our GDP, and it remains flush,” said Sylvia Jablonski Kampaktsis, Director of Investments and co. -Founder of Defiance ETFs in New York.

“Omicron reminds us that we still exist in this corona ecosystem. And that will likely be one of the many things we will continue to talk about with this virus, but the doomsday COVID scenario of 2020 appears to be way behind us.”

All 11 major sector indices of the S&P 500 advanced, with percentage gains in energy (.SPNY) and technology (.SPLRCT).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) gained 351.82 points, or 0.98%, to 36,302.38, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 65.4 points, or 1.38%, to 4 791.19 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 217.89 points, or 1.39%, to 15,871.26.

The S&P 500 climbed 4.9% in its recent streak of gains, its biggest percentage gain in a four-day period since early November 2020.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) received a boost from mega-capitalization companies including Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Meta Platform (FB.O) .

Major U.S. stock indexes are on track for a third consecutive annual gain, with the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) poised to post its best three-year performance since 1999.

Volume on the U.S. exchanges was 7.76 billion shares, compared to the 11.74 billion average for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

The advancing issues outnumbered the declines on the NYSE by a 2.29 to 1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.09 to 1 favored advances.

The S&P 500 posted 58 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 101 new highs and 145 new lows.

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Reporting by Echo Wang in Taos, New Mexico; Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Anisha Sircar in Bangalore; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Richard Chang

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