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Stock market news live updates: S&P 500 and Dow close at record highs, while Nasdaq edges lower

Yahoo Finance US logo Yahoo Finance US 12/29/2021 Alexandra Semenova

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average each soared to records on Wednesday, as the Dow extended its winning streak into a sixth day and the S&P 500 resumed a previous rally after wavering in intraday trading.

After struggling to stay afloat during the session, the S&P closed up 0.14% to an all-time high and its 70th record close of the year at 4,793.06, while the Dow hit 36,488.63. The Nasdaq continued to edge lower amid a broader rotation out of tech stocks.

“The market’s up about 30% this year, the S&P on a total return basis,” Hennessy Gas Utility Fund Portfolio Manager Josh Wein told Yahoo Finance Live. “With that in mind, I think the good times will continue.”

Declines in Tesla (TSLA) contributed to the Nasdaq’s losses during the session, with shares of the electric vehicle-maker dipping as much as 2.2% in intraday trading after CEO Elon Musk sold another $1 billion of company stock.

The latest sale brings him closer to his target of reducing his stake in the company by 10%. Shares of Tesla closed down -0.21% at $1,086.19 a piece.

But Tesla bulls like Wedbush analyst Dan Ives remain confident in the company. Ives thinks its shares could be headed to $1,800.

"Demand for China is the linchpin," Ives, who rates the EV maker at Outperform, said on Yahoo Finance Live. "As capacity builds in Berlin and Austin, that's what I think sends Tesla's stock to $1,400 as our base case. Our bull case is $1,800."

Investors will turn their attention on Thursday to fresh data out of Washington on weekly jobless claims.

First-time unemployment filings are expected to tick up slightly from last week’s reading but remain near pre-pandemic lows, signaling continued recovery in the labor market as high demand for workers pours into the new year.

“We’re facing some headwinds that could challenge the bull market continuing to run,” Sound Planning Group CEO David Stryzewski told Yahoo Finance Live. “We’re looking at a 40-year inflation... the consumer's continued relatively strong… we’re looking at interest rates right now at 40-year lows.”

Main Street Asset Management CIO Erin Gibbs told Yahoo Finance Live that pullbacks caused by the Omicron variant resemble those that occurred when the Delta strain first took course and are likely to see the same gradual but upward recovery.

"We encourage our clients to stay in the markets, not to get out, because when those recoveries hit and when the sentiment changes, it happens so quickly that often by the time you get back into the market, you’ve already missed out," she said.

Global COVID-19 cases hit a daily record earlier this week. Infections from the highly-transmissible Omicron variant — found to spread 70 times faster than previous strains — comprised much of the newly tracked positive tests, though studies indicate illness caused by the strain is less likely to be severe or lead to hospitalizations.

December was a volatile month for investors who weighed the strain’s impact on the economy, but recent developments that indicate Omicron may cause milder disease helped markets shake off earlier concerns.

“Perversely, bad news around Omicron might be good news for the markets because it gives the Fed the impetus to continue with these very loose monetary policies,” Opimas LLC Chief Executive Officer Octavio Marenzi told Yahoo Finance Live. “Too much good news for the real economy might actually be quite bad for the markets.”

4:02 p.m. ET: S&P, Dow top records

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:02 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +6.74 (+0.14%) to 4,793.09

  • Dow (^DJI): +90.55 (+0.25%) to 36,488.76

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -15.51 (-0.10%) to 15,766.22

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.54 (+0.71%) to $76.52 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$5.30 (-0.29%) to $1,805.60 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +6.2 bps to yield 1.5430%

1:02 p.m. ET: Tesla shares decline after Musk's stock sale

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dipped as much as 2.2% in intraday trading after CEO Elon Musk sold another $1 billion of company stock.

The latest sale brings him closer to his target of reducing his stake in the company by 10%.

The electric vehicle-maker's stock traded at $1,088.37 per share during the midday session.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a Tesla bull, thinks the company's stock could be headed to $1,800

"Demand for China is the linchpin," Ives, who rates the EV maker at Outperform, said on Yahoo Finance Live. "As capacity builds in Berlin and Austin, that's what I think sends Tesla's stock to $1,400 as our base case. Our bull case is $1,800,"


Video: Stocks in volatile session, led down by Dow on Friday (Yahoo! Finance)

Replay Video

1:00 p.m. ET: S&P 500 wavers, dipping into red

Here were the main moves in markets as of 1:00 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.08 (-0.00%) to 4,786.27

  • Dow (^DJI): +85.76 (+0.24%) to 36,483.97

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -56.57 (-0.36%) to 15,725.15

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.18 (+0.24%) to $76.16 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$6.80 (-0.38%) to $1,804.10 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +5.3 bps to yield 1.5340%

10:19 a.m. ET: Bitcoin poised to see worst month since May

Bitcoin's (BTC-USD) declines have set December up to be its worst month since May. The token was up slightly, 0.74% higher to $47,893.30 as of 10:48 a.m. ET but continues to decline from its record overall.

The digital currency fell below its closely-watched level of $50,000, extending the slide from its all-time high into a fifth week, according to Bloomberg data. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index fell as much as 4.9% on Tuesday to its lowest since early October, while other digital currencies also slumped.

10:05 a.m. ET: Pending home sales hint housing market is cooling off

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index dropped 2.2% in November from the prior month, missing analyst expectations. The index, which tracks the number of homes that are under contract to be sold, serves as a leading indicator of the housing market's health.

Bloomberg consensus estimates forecasted a 0.8% increase on the read. Pending sales slid 2.7% from the same month a year ago.

“There was less pending home sales action this time around, which I would ascribe to low housing supply, but also to buyers being hesitant about home prices,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks tick up slightly after futures waver

Here were the main moves at the start of trading:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +4.27 (+0.09%) to 4,790.62

  • Dow (^DJI): +17.54 (+0.05%) to 36,415.75

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +21.44 (+0.14%) to 15,803.16

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.33 (-0.43%) to $75.65 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$18.40 (-1.02%) to $1,792.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +3.9 bps to yield 1.5200%

9:05 a.m. ET: U.S. goods trade deficit widens to record 

The U.S. trade deficit in goods ballooned to a record in November as imports soared and exports fell.

The Commerce Department reported that the goods trade deficit expanded by 17.5% last month to $97.8 billion from $83.2 billion in October. The new figure tops the previous record deficit of $97 billion posted in September. Goods exports declined 2.1%, while imports rose by 4.7%.

Meanwhile, wholesale inventories crept up 1.2% last month, the report also showed. Retail inventories were up 2.0% and retail inventories, excluding autos, which go into the calculation of gross domestic product, rose by 1.3%

7:00 a.m. ET: Contracts on the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq remain muted

Futures markets were mostly flat ahead of the day's open:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +4.50 points (+0.09%), to 4,783.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +15.00 points (+0.04%), to 36,297.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +37.50 points (+0.23%) to 16,525.00

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.40 (-0.53%) to $75.58 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$14.20 (-0.78%) to $1,796 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.2 bps to yield 1.493%

6:00 p.m. Tuesday ET: Stock futures open flat

Here’s how markets were moving ahead of overnight trading:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +3.75 points (+0.08%), to 4,782.25

  • Dow futures (YM=F): +8.00 points (+0.02%), to 36,290.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +30.75 points (+0.19%) to 16,518.75

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.09 (+0.12%) to $76.07 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$4.00 (-0.22%) to $1,806.90 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.6 bps to yield 1.484%

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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