Mon. December 20, 2021 – DIA 349.27 -1.23%, QQQ 380.69 -1.10%, SPY 454.98 -1.06%, IWM 212.12 -1.40% CNN Fear/ Greed Index 25 (Extreme Fear)
No high-impact economic data was released on the day. Markets gapped lower on the open, found low by mid-day, closing down but well off the worst levels of the day. The Omicron variant of SARS CoV-2 and the failure of the Administration to garner support from a key democrat senator for the highly contentious Build Back Better bill before congress was the focus of traders and investors. As the day progressed reports surfaced that the virus may actually be less dangerous than originally thought by health officials. In the S&P 500 eleven sectors Financial Services (XLF) 37.66 -1.94% fared the worst, followed by Basic Materials (XLB) 85.66 -1.79%. Reopening plays were top performers as virus worries became less of a concern. Travel and entertainment shares dominated the S&P 500. Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) 18.90 +3.39%, American Airlines (AAL) 17.30 +2.06%, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH) 20.74 +2.02%, and Expedia (EXPE) 162.43 +1.96% all outperformed. Vaccine and therapeutic maker Pfizer (PFE) 61.02 +2.59% advanced on expectations the CDC would soon authorize the firm's COVID-19 pill for home use. In a large reversal in price action, vaccine maker Moderna (MRNA) 276.38 -6.25% moved lower as the virus concerns abated.

Tue. December 21, 2021 – DIA 354.91 +1.61%, QQQ 389.21 +2.24%, SPY 463.06 +1.78%, IWM 218.18 +2.86% CNN Fear/Greed Index 32 (Fear)
No high-impact economic data was released on the day. Markets gapped higher on the opening bell as traders became more confident that the Omicron variant of the virus which causes COVID-19 would not be as deadly as the Delta variant. Small caps outperformed by a significant margin. Of the 11 S&P 500 sectors Energy Services (XLE) 54.52 +2.85% led the market as WTI crude oil rebounded closing at 71.89 +2.88. That sector was closely followed by Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 196.82 +2.59%. The worst performing sector was the low beta, safe haven of Consumer Staples (XLP) 74.61 -.13%, as General Mills (GIS) 65.06 -4.03% dropped on an earnings miss. Also in earnings news, drug store chain Rite Aid (RAD) 15.05 +21.37% announced the firm would undertake an effort to boost profitability by resizing its store footprints.  China-based internet firms, which had been some of this year’s worst performers caught buying interest. Pinduoduo (PDD) 59.31 +8.27%, NetEase (NTES) 97.26 +7.73%, and (JD) 73.41 +7.66% all advanced. In technology, enterprise software firm Citrix Systems (CTXS) 95.05 +13.63% jumped ahead to lead the S&P 500 on speculation the company might be taken private.

Wed. December 22, 2021 – DIA 357.39 +.70%, QQQ 393.95 +1.22%, SPY 467.69 +1.00%, IWM 220.28 +.96% CNN Fear/Greed Index 37 (Fear)
GDP was reported at +2.3% vs. +2.1% expected with the GDP price index +6% vs. +5.9% expected. Personal Consumption Expenditure Prices Paid came in at +5.3% as expected (QoQ) with the core at 4.6% vs. 4.5% expected (QoQ). Markets continued the rally coming out of the winter solstice and the Omicron virus concerns of earlier in the week. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 200.41 +1.82% did best of the 11 S&P500 sectors, followed by Technology (XLK) 171.98 +1.31%. Mining and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar (CAT) 202.15 +1.94% led the DJIA with electric automobile manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) 1008.87 +7.99% performing best in the NDX100. Vaccine producer Moderna (MRNA) 251.36 -6.26% continued its sell-off. In earnings news, used auto retailer Carmax (KMX) 127.87 -6.66% beat earnings and revenue estimates handily, but the shares succumbed to a sell the news type reaction. The stock has been an underperformer in 2021.

Thur. December 23, 2021 – DIA 359.36 +.55%, QQQ 396.92 +.75%, SPY 470.60 +.62%, IWM 222.04 +.80% CNN Fear/Greed Index 40 (Fear)
There was a heavy economic calendar on the day with Durable Goods Orders posting at +2.5% vs. +1.6% expected and Nondefense Capital Goods orders ex-aircraft coming in worse than anticipated with a slight decline -.1% vs. an expected growth of +.6%. Consumer Discretionary (XLY) 203.19 +1.39% was the lead sector, followed by Industrials (XLI) 103.92 +1.18%. Caterpillar (CAT) 206.20 +2.00% continued to lead the DJIA performance. Tesla (TSLA) 1067.00 +5.76% led the NDX100 for a second day. China-related technology shares, some of the worst performers on the year, were clear laggards on the day’s action, (JD) 68.65 -6.92% Pinduoduo (PDD) 57.71 -1.25% both moved lower. In post-earnings trading Micron Technology (MU) 94.42 +4.52% matched its 52 week high from earlier in the year.

Fri. December 24, 2021 – U.S. Markets Closed

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