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Santa Clause Rally in Stock Market

U.S. stocks slip away from record highs — but at least the ‘Santa Claus rally’ still rolls on

The final trading day of 2023 is struggling to give investors the year-end gift of a record closing high for the S&P 500. Still, at least a much-hyped, albeit modest “Santa Claus rally” seems to be coming to fruition.

The term usually refers to a stock market’s tendency to rise over the course of the last five trading days of a calendar year plus the first two trading sessions of the new year. Last Friday, Dec. 22, marked the start of the period, which will run through Wednesday, Jan. 3, this time around.

Since last Friday, the S&P 500 has risen 0.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite is up 0.4%, according to FactSet data.

U.S. stocks were taking a breather on Friday after a broad but modest rally brought the S&P 500 to just shy of record territory earlier this week. The large-cap benchmark index, which began the final session of 2023 about 0.3% off of its all-time high, is now down around 0.3% on the day.


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