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US stock market closes in negative territory ahead of New Year’s Eve

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On Thursday, US stock market indexes decreased slightly. The S&P 500, the NASDAQ and the Dow Jones lost 0.3%, 0.16% and 0.25% respectively. Earlier, the Dow Jones managed to reach 36,653.48 points.

At this time of year, indexes have historically grown by 1.3% on average – a period called a Santa Claus rally by investors.

Market players were encouraged by the latest US unemployment data. Despite the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the amount of jobless claims remained unchanged last week.

Investors remain optimistic amid reports of Omicron being less severe than other strains, as well as rising vaccination rates. Governments in many countries are now mainly determining restrictions based on the number of hospitalizations and not the total amount of infections.

On the Dow Jones, the best performers of the session were Walt Disney Co. (+0.68%), Johnson & Johnson (+0.44%), and International Business Machines (+0.42%). The worst performers were Procter & Gamble Co. (-0.86%), Microsoft Corp. (-0.77%), and Nike Inc. (-0.76%).

On the S&P 500, Penn National Gaming Inc. (4.54%), Twitter Inc. (3.98%), and ViacomCBS Inc. (3.77%) led the upside, with Biogen Inc. (-7.09%), APA Corp. (-3.05%), and CF Industries Holdings Inc (-2.55%) being the worst performers.

On the NASDAQ Composite, the best performers were Kiora Pharmaceuticals Inc., Supercom, Ltd., and Inspira Technologies Oxy BHN, Ltd., which gained 93.18%, 40.10% and 27.47% respectively. The worst performing stocks were Oncology Institute Inc. (-16.07%), Biofrontera Inc. (-13.93%), and Medavail Holdings Inc. (-11.69%).

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1,806 to 1,461. On the NASDAQ exchange, the amount of rising stocks was 2,326, and the number of declining stocks was 1,500.

The VIX market volatility index increased by 2.24% to 17.33.

Gold futures went up by 0.54% to $1,815.50 per ounce. WTI crude oil futures lost 0.14% and reached $76,45 per barrel. Brent crude oil futures edged up by 0.06% to $79.06 per barrel.

The STOXX Europe 600 added 0.1% on Thursday. Asian markets were mixed. The Shanghai Composite and the Hang Seng were on the upside, gaining 0.6% and 0.1% respectively, while the KOSPI and the Nikkei 225 declined, losing 0.5% and 0.4% respectively.

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