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US Stocks Drift to Lower Close, Pausing ‘Santa Claus Rally’

© REUTERS / ANDREW KELLYA trader works on the trading floor on the last day of trading before Christmas at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021.
A trader works on the trading floor on the last day of trading before Christmas at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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NEW YORK (Sputnik) - US stocks drifted to a broadly lower close on Tuesday, in a pause to the so-called "Santa Claus rally," despite an early record high for the key S&P 500 index.
Wall Street has risen in the past four sessions, with gains all round for the S&P 500 as well as the two other major US equity indexes - the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many had taken to calling it the Santa Claus rally that typically starts around Christmas and lasts through the year-end.
While Tuesday’s broad dip did not necessarily mean the uptrend was broken, it reinforced another year-end occurrence common in stock markets: higher volatility amid lighter volume, as many traders took off for their Christmas and New Year holidays.
The S&P 500, which lists the top 500 US stocks, closed the day down 0.1% at 4,786, after setting an all-time peak of 4,807 right after the start of the trading session. For the year, the S&P 500 is up 27%.
Nasdaq, which groups major technology names such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, slid 0.6% to settle at 15,781. Year-to-date, the Nasdaq is up 22%.
The blue-chip Dow, which lists a wide variety of stocks from leisure to banking and agriculture, was the only gainer of the day among the three Wall Street indexes. It rose 0.3% to settle at 36,398. For the year, the Dow is up 19%.
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