Stock indexes were mixed Tuesday after a shaky day of trading on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 closing just below its most recent record high. The benchmark index fell 0.1 percent after fluctuating between small gains and losses. The slight loss ended the index’s four-day winning streak, which had reached an all-time high on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.26 percent, while the Nasdaq decreased 0.56 percent.
Still, a decline in technology, health care, and communication stocks outweighed gains in industrial firms, household goods manufacturers, and other market sectors. Small-company stocks also fell, dragging the Russell 2000 index down by 0.7 percent. Manufacturers of industrial and consumer goods were among the top performers. Boeing gained 1.5 percent, while Campbell Soup gained 2.8 percent, accounting for the most significant gains in the S&P500.
American Airlines increased by 2%, United Airlines increased by 1.5 percent, and Delta Air Lines increased by 1.6 percent.
The major indices gained ground last week as concerns about the potential impact of the covid-19 omicron variant dissipated. However, much remains unknown about omicron, which is rapidly spreading and causing a return to pandemic restrictions in some areas.
The variant is rapidly becoming the dominant strain all over the world.
European Stocks Rise
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index was up nearly 0.2 percent in early morning trade as markets in the United Kingdom and Ireland reopened after the Christmas holiday.
Global investors are anticipating a Santa Claus rally to cap off a year in which the S&aP 500 has risen more than 27%. The benchmark index has historically gained during the Santa Claus rally, which occurs during the final five trading days of the current year and the first two trading days of the new year. The period started on Monday.
US stock futures edged higher on Wednesday morning following a mixed session on Tuesday. Market participants have spent recent weeks juggling concerns about new Covid restrictions and tighter central bank policy, despite preliminary research indicating that the omicron strain of the virus is milder than previous variants such as delta. According to a new study published last week in South Africa and the United Kingdom, omicron may reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe illness.
At the start of this week, infections in the United Kingdom exceeded 100,000. At the same time, France reported cases exceeding 100,000 for the first time. On Tuesday, France said a record-breaking 179,807 new coronavirus cases.
Hong Kong Stocks Fall
The Hang Seng Index fell 0.8% to 23,086.54. The Tech Index fell 1.8%, its most significant drop in a week.
Shares of the developer China Aoyuan Group, which a Hong Kong court summoned for guaranteeing a subsidiary’s debt of US$131 million, fell to their lowest level since May 2016. Beijing’s scrutiny of overseas share sales weighed on the city’s Chinese technology stocks. Hence, on Wednesday, Hong Kong stocks fell, snapping a five-day winning streak.
The Hang Seng Index fell 0.8% to 23,086.54, while the Tech Index fell 1.8%, its most significant drop in a week. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9%.
Alibaba Group Holding, which owns this newspaper, fell 2.6%, while Tencent Holdings fell 1.2%.
Beijing unveiled regulations that prevent companies in sensitive industries from receiving foreign investment unless they apply for a government waiver.
It has caused concern in China’s internet sector, causing the Tech Index to fall to its lowest level since its inception in July 2020. The gauge was on track to lose 9.4% in December, its fourth monthly loss in five months.