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After A Big 2021, Wall Street Starts New Year Edging Higher

Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday in a solid start to the new year after closing out 2021 with big gains for the third year in a row.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 12:02 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 49 points, or 0.1%, to 36,387 and the Nasdaq rose 0.6%.

Technology companies and a mix of retailers gained ground. Tesla jumped 10.3% after after reporting strong delivery numbers for 2021.

Bond yields rose significantly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.62% from 1.51% Friday. Banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans, gained ground. Bank of America rose 4.1%.

Smaller company stocks outpaced the broader market in a signal that investors felt confident about economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 0.6%.

Health care companies fell broadly and kept gains elsewhere in the market in check. Pfizer shed 3% despite news that the U.S. is closer to potentially expanding its COVID-19 booster shots for children as young as 12.

A mix of household goods makers also fell.

Investors are heading into a new year with the virus pandemic still posing a threat to the economy. Wall Street has been busy since December monitoring the latest wave of cases with the omicron variant.

Businesses and consumers are also still dealing with supply chain problems and persistently rising inflation that has made a wide range of goods more expensive. The rising costs could threaten to crimp consumer spending and weaken economic growth.

The long list of concerns made for a choppy end to 2021, but didn’t stop the broader market from notching another year of strong gains. The S&P 500 finished with a gain of 26.9% in 2021, or a total return of 28.7%, including dividends. That’s nearly as much as the benchmark index gained in 2019.

Investors have several key pieces of economic data to look forward to during the first week of the new year. The Institute for Supply Management will give investors an update on the manufacturing sector on Tuesday and the services sector on Thursday.

The big event on the economic calendar this week is the Labor Department’s jobs report on Friday.


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