Investors Boost Stocks Ahead of Holiday Week – Weekly Update

December 26, 2023 | By Steven DiGregorio

Investor optimism and fears of missing out on future gains propelled stocks higher in the last full week of trading before year-end.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.22%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 0.75%. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 1.21% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, added 0.51%.1,2,3

Stocks Build on Gains

The current market narrative of declining inflation, easing interest rates, and better earnings ahead continued to fuel stock market gains, with some of the year’s laggards, such as smaller cap stocks and energy names, leading the way.

While the stock market has repeatedly seen gains gather steam in the final trading hours, a late-day sell-off on Wednesday unnerved investors. While it’s difficult to know precisely why, the sharp decline may have resulted from profit-taking and low trading volumes, which can result in unexpected volatility or other technical reasons. Whatever the case, stocks rebounded nicely the following day and Friday.

Housing Revival?

The housing market struggled this year amid higher mortgage rates and rising home prices. Last week, several housing reports suggested the housing market may be improving.

New home construction rose 14.8% in November, reaching levels not seen since May, while existing home sales rebounded 0.8%, reversing five straight months of declines. Existing home sales have been hurt by low inventory since many homeowners with low-rate mortgages are hesitant to move and take on a higher-rate mortgage. This logjam may loosen as 30-year mortgage rates fell from 7.79% at the end of October to 6.95% in mid-November.4, 5

New home sales disappointed, however, falling 12.2%, though they came in 1.4% higher from November a year ago.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Thursday: Jobless Claims.

Source: Econoday, December 22, 2023
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

No companies reporting earnings this week.

Source: Zacks, December 22, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

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Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2023
2. The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2023
3. The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2023
4. MarketWatch, December 19, 2023
5. Fox Business, December 20, 2023
6. U.S. Census Bureau, December 22, 2023.


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The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

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Tags: DJIA, Housing, mortgage rates, NASDAQ, S&P 500

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STEVEN M DIGREGORIO is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
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