U.S. stock benchmarks flipped between small gains and losses early Monday, kicking off the first day of trading in 2022 on a tentative note. Among stocks on the move, shares of Tesla surged after record-breaking quarterly sales.
How are stock indexes trading?
- The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.22% was up 12 points, or 0.3%, at 4,778.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.21% was up 72 points, or 0.2%, to 36,408.
- The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.64% was up 114 points, or 0.7%, at 15,756.
Stocks fell Friday on the last trading day of 2021. For last year, the S&P 500 soared 26.9%, beating both the Nasdaq’s 21.4% rise and the Dow’s 18.7% climb.
What’s driving the stock market?
Stocks headed higher to start 2022 but were seeing bumpy trade, amid a number of lingering concerns, including the surge in COVID-19 cases spurred by the rapid spread of the omicron coronavirus variant and the likelihood of multiple interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, expected later this year.
“The omicron variant is spreading like wildfire but hospitalizations remain under control and most governments seem wary of going back to lockdowns, feeding optimism that this wave won’t inflict much damage on the global economy,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, senior investment analyst at XM, in a note to clients.
Travel chaos was greeting the start of the year, with more than 2,600 U.S. flights canceled on Sunday, amid winter storms and shortages of workers due to the fast-spreading omicron variant. Federal offices were also shut in Washington, D.C., as winter weather bore down on the mid-Atlantic.
The final reading of the IHS Markit purchasing managers index for manufacturing edged down to 57.7 from an initial reading of 57.8.
Separately, outlays for construction projects rose 0.4% in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.63 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.7% increase. Spending in October was raised to a 0.4% gain from the prior estimate of a 0.2% rise.
Economic data on tap later this week will include Friday’s employment report, and the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting due midweek.
Which companies are in focus?
- Shares of Tesla TSLA jumped 10%, after the electric-vehicle maker delivered more than 308,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, blowing away analysts’ expectations. Deliveries surged about 87% in 2021.
- U.S. health regulators cleared use of a COVID-19 booster from Pfizer Inc. PFE, -3.10% and BioNTech BNTX, -7.41% in 12 to 15-year-olds, amid the omicron variant’s spread. U.S. listed shares of BioNTech were down 5.5% and those for Pfizer were off 3.5%.
How are other assets trading?
- The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.617% was trading around 1.593%, up more than 8 basis points. Yields and debt prices move opposite each other.
- The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.34%, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.1%.
- Oil futures gave up an early gain, with West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery CLG22, +1.38% edging down 0.1%.
- Gold futures GC00, -1.62% for February delivery GCG22, -1.62% fell 1.1%, after 2021 marked the fastest annual fall since 2015.
- Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.59% was down 0.9%.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.45% rose 0.3%. Markets in London were closed for the holiday.
- Several Asian markets were closed for holidays. The Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.53% fell 0.5% and the Korea KOSPI 180721, +0.37% rose 0.3%.
Mike Murphy contributed to this article