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Major Indexes Start 2022 With New Closing Highs

Major Indexes Start 2022 With New Closing Highs.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Markets began the trading year 2022 yesterday with fresh closing highs on the Dow and S&P 500, both having gained around +0.6% in the regular trading session. The Nasdaq, which has yet to come within 200 points of its all-time high close set in mid-November of 2021, doubled the other indexes, +1.2% yesterday. The tech-heavy index broke a four-day losing streak to close out last year.

This morning, we’re seeing gains increasing in pre-market activity in all three indexes: the Dow +140 points, the Nasdaq +30 and the S&P 500 +15 points. Apparently, the threat of the Omicron variant is being treated as benign, despite more than a million cases reported in the U.S. just yesterday — easily a new all-time record. What’s apparently keeping markets buoyant in the face of this is the very low hospitalization rates, especially compared to the previous Covid-infection highs last winter.

Yesterday, Tesla TSLA continued to rip higher — 13.5% on the day — with better-than-expected auto deliveries in Q4: 308,600 vs. 267K estimated. This adds to the 50%+ gains the electric vehicle leader made in 2021, putting CEO Elon Musk atop the list of the richest people in human history. This report feeds into the company’s quarterly earnings report, which comes January 26th. Shares of Tesla now trade around $1200 each; the company’s forward P/E ratio is a jaw-dropping 153.8.

After today’s open, we’ll see new results from ISM Manufacturing. Expectations are for 60.0% in December, down a tad from the 61.1% the previous month. This follows Monday’s PMI Manufacturing report, which came basically in-line with expectations at 57.7. We’ll also get a new JOLTS report for November, with 11 million job openings expected for the second month in a row. Job quits will also be part of this report; for October, JOLTS registered 4.2 million quits.

ISM Services will report tomorrow, along with the first of the major monthly employment reports: ADP’s ADP private-sector payrolls. Analysts expect around three quarters of a million new jobs filled last month, following the more than 500K brought into the labor force in November. Will the Omicron variant — and its effects on the overall economy — come into play in these numbers? This will be what economists will be looking for.

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