U.S. Indexes Finished Mixed Amid Weakness in Tech…..

U.S. indexes finished the day mixed and stocks pared some of the earlier gains after the S&P 500 and Dow were unable to notch new closing records, while pressure from the Information Technology sector was a drag on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Investors continued to assess the impact of COVID-19 as global cases hit a daily record yesterday, however concerns regarding the omicron variant appeared to be fading, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cut the suggested time for isolation in half. The change from the CDC helped lift airline stocks on Tuesday, after the industry has suffered cancellations as a result of staffing shortages brought about by the quarantine recommendations. The economic calendar was light, showing that housing prices rose during October, and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey surprised to the upside. Treasuries were mixed, and the U.S. dollar turned higher, while crude oil prices added to a recent run, and gold declined slightly. Europe and Asia saw broad gains, following a strong performance in the U.S. yesterday, but the markets in the U.K. and Australia remained closed for holidays.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 96 points (0.3%) to 36,398, the S&P 500 Index decreased 5 points (0.1%) to 4,786, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 90 points (0.6%) to 15,782. In lighter volume, 2.7 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 3.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil moved $0.41 higher to $75.98 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price declined $2.20 to $1,806.60 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.1% higher at 96.16.

Housing prices rise in light economic calendar

The 20-city composite S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 18.41% year-over-year (y/y) gain in home prices in October, slightly below estimates of an 18.50% rise. Compared to the prior month, home prices were up 0.92% on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to forecasts of a 0.90% gain.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index surprisingly rose for December. The index that gages business activity for the mid-Atlantic region increased to 16, versus estimates of a reading of 11, and compared to 12 reported in the month prior. A reading above zero denotes an expansion.

Treasuries were mixed, as the yield on the 2-year note was up 6 basis points (bps) at 0.76%, while the yield on the 10-year note was little changed at 1.48%, and the 30-year bond yield was 2 bps higher at 1.90%.

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