July 12, 2024

Post-Christmas Stock Surge: S&P 500 Nears Record High Amidst a Rally

Image Credits: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The holiday cheer didn’t end with Christmas, as the stock market gave investors a dazzling rally on Tuesday. The S&P 500, akin to a determined sprinter, approached an all-time high, leaving traders and analysts in awe.

In a market dance where gainers outnumbered decliners almost three to one on the New York Stock Exchange, the S&P 500 showcased its resilience, marking its longest winning streak since 2017. With a graceful rise of just under 0.5%, it concluded slightly below its historical peak established nearly two years ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average joined the celebration, ascending 0.4%, while the Nasdaq composite exhibited its prowess, ending 0.5% higher.

The numbers told a compelling story – the S&P 500 soared 20.12 points to 4,774.75, the Dow gained 159.36 points to 37,545.33, and the Nasdaq added 81.60 points to 15,074.57.

The star performers of this financial ballet were the technology and industrial stocks. Intel took center stage with a more than 5% gain, securing its position as the biggest winner among S&P 500 stocks. Caterpillar, not to be outdone, gracefully added 1.8%.

But the show wasn’t confined to these giants; energy stocks surged as the price of U.S. crude oil rose by 2.7%. Hess closed 1.4% higher, adding to the market’s festive spirit. Even the more minor players had their moment, as the Russell 2000 index leaped 1.2% higher.

The script took an unexpected turn, with some stocks making headlines on company deal news. Bristol Myers Squibb, the strategic player, announced a $4.1 billion acquisition of RayzeBio, hot on the heels of its $14 billion deal with Karuna Therapeutics. The market response was a mixed bag – Bristol Myers shares fell 1.6%, while RayzeBio doubled to $61.40, almost reaching the $62.50 acquisition price.

Adding a layer of excitement, HollySys Automation Technologies surged 5.2% after receiving an updated buyout offer from a consortium led by Dazheng Group Acquisition.

Amidst the market spectacle, Treasury yields played their part, remaining mixed as the 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 3.90%.

As we approach the final curtain of 2024, the S&P 500 has delivered an impressive performance, boasting a year-to-date increase of over 24%, while the Nasdaq steals the spotlight with a remarkable 44% surge.

Investors find solace in the inflation decline and a robust economy surpassing expectations. Traders, however, are keeping their cards close, betting that the Federal Reserve will cut its primary interest rate by at least 1.50 percentage points by the end of next year, as indicated by data from CME Group. The federal funds rate is currently perched within a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, reaching its highest level over two decades.

The stakes and surprises are aplenty in this thrilling market narrative, and the stage is set for a grand finale in 2024!

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