Day Traders Diary


The major averages climb to new record highs with the start of the typical Santa Claus rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 105 points, or 0.37%, to 28,621 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.51% to 3,239. The Nasdaq Composite finished the day 0.78% higher at 9,022, topping the 9,000 mark for the first time ever. Amazon led the gains, jumping more than 4% after the e-commerce giant said the holiday shopping season broke all records. Trading volumes remained thin this week.

The S&P 500 notched its 34th record close Thursday. The benchmark has risen 3.1% this month and 8.8% this quarter, bringing the year-to-date gains to 29.2%. The S&P 500 has a good chance at scoring a historic year: It is now less than 1 percentage point from posting the best annual performance since 1997.

Trading volume was relatively light on this day after Christmas, but that didn't detract from the positive sentiment in the market. The holiday sales results, after all, showcased the strength of the U.S. consumer, while reports that the U.S. and China are close to signing a Phase One trade deal kept investors at ease.

U.S. weekly jobless claims decreased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Dec. 21, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number is slightly higher than estimates of 220,000 in a Dow Jones poll of economists.

U.S. Treasuries held steady throughout the session. The 2-yr yield was unchanged at 1.63%, and the 10-yr yield declined one basis point to 1.91%. The U.S. Dollar Index declined 0.1% to 97.56. WTI crude rose 0.9%, or $0.55, to $61.70/bbl.

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