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The Dow added 95 points today

The major benchmarks were mixed on Tuesday. The Dow extended its “Santa Claus” rally, adding 95 points for a fifth-straight win. The tech-heavy Nasdaq and S&P 500 saw their respective four-day win streaks end, though the latter set an intraday high earlier in the session.

Wall Street continued to weigh Covid-19 news today, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the recommended isolation for infected people with no symptoms is now five days, as opposed to 10 days. Elsewhere, Wall Street’s  “fear gauge,” the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), logged its fifth-straight loss and lowest close since Nov. 17.

Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:

  • Target stock enjoyed retail sales tailwinds today.
  • Keep tabs on these 2 chip stocks going forward.
  • Plus, DISH eyes solid recovery; a small-cap stock for dividend investors; and a primer on options leverage.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI – 36,398.21) rose 95.8 points, or 0.3% for the day. Walt Disney (DIS) led the gainers, adding 1.6%, while Salesforce.com (CRM) paced the laggards with a 1.1% fall.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 4,786.35) fell 4.8 points, or 0.1% for the day. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC –  15,781.72) shed 89.5 points, or 0.6% for the day.

Lastly, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX – 17.54) dropped 0.1 point, or 0.8% for the day.

  1. Blue chips Walmart (WMT) and Intel (INTC) are facing backlash in China, after avoiding imports from Xinjiang, under a new law that restricts business with the region. (MarketWatch)
  2. A study of South Africa showed the immune response of those infected with the Covid-19 omicron variant seems to dramatically increase protection against the delta strain. (CNBC)
  3. Dish Network stock is set up to make a solid recovery next year.
  4. Why this small-cap stock is a good bet for dividend investors.
  5. Diving into leverage and what it means for options traders.

There were no notable earnings reports today.

Oil Prices Extend Win Streak to Longest in 3 Months

Oil prices settled higher on Tuesday to notch their fifth-consecutive win, marking black gold’s longest win streak in three months. Boosting commodity was hopes that omicron will not severely impact energy demand. In turn, February-dated crude added 41 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $75.98 per barrel.

Gold prices settled higher as well to score their third win in four sessions. However, a stronger U.S. dollar continued to weigh on the metal. As a result, February-dated gold added $2.10, or 0.1%, to close at $1,810.90 per ounce.