Stock Market Today: Live Updates –

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

Stock futures were flat on Wednesday as traders eye the S&P 500’s march toward record levels.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell slightly, as did Nasdaq 100 futures. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell just 7 points.

The moves follow a successful day on Wall Street at the start of the final trading week of 2023. The stock market was closed on Monday to mark Christmas Day.

Tuesday’s rise brought the S&P 500 within 0.5% of its last record high of 4,796.56, reached in January 2022. The Nasdaq-100 hit an all-time high in the previous session.

These gains add to an already strong year for the stock market. With only three sessions remaining in the 2023 trading year, the Dow and S&P 500 are expected to end 2023 higher by 13% and 24%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite is up 44%, performing better amid the recovery in mega-cap technology and enthusiasm for artificial intelligence. The tech-heavy benchmark is also on track for its biggest one-year gain since 2003, when it rose 50%.

Stocks are in the midst of what’s known as the “Santa Claus Rally,” a period that consists of the last five trading days of an ending year and the first two of a new year. The S&P 500 has risen about 1.3% on average over that period, according to 1950 data from the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

The market has been “enthusiastic” lately, said Scott Wren, senior global market strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. And “it doesn’t surprise me that it would continue this week.”

Still, the market may be too optimistic, he said, especially if the Federal Reserve starts cutting interest rates later than traders expected. According to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, the market expects a more than 70% chance of a rate cut at the central bank’s March meeting.

On Wednesday, investors will pay attention to economic data from the manufacturing sector.


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