Stock futures are muted after S&P 500 hits another record high

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, December 8, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stock futures were calm early Tuesday morning as Wall Street looked to build on its record highs in the final week of the year.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped just 5 points, while those for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were also little changed.

The move in futures comes after stocks rallied in Monday’s regular session, with the S&P 500 rising roughly 1.4% to close at a record high. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%, while the Dow climbed about 352 points.

Stocks dipped in late November, in part because of the rise of the omicron variant of Covid 19, but have since rebounded as governments have largely shied away from reinstating strict social distancing measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that it was shortening its isolation recommendation for people who test positive to five days from 10, if those people do not have symptoms.

Airline stocks did struggle on Monday, however, as the spread of the virus led to hundreds of flight cancelations around the Christmas holiday. Apple also announced that it was closing its New York City stores to customers due to the spike in Covid cases.

Stocks tend to rise in light trading during the final days of the year, often called the “Santa Clause rally.” However, many Wall Street pros predict relative small gains for stocks in 2022 after two strong years.

“If you look around Wall Street, you see very tame expectations, and it’s probably a reflection that we’re probably pretty late in the cycle,” Jim Lacamp, senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, said on “Closing Bell.”

In addition to the S&P 500’s record close, the Dow is within 1% of its intraday all-time high, while the Nasdaq is about 2% below its high-water mark.

For the year, the S&P 500 is up 27.6% for the year and the Nasdaq is up 23.1%. The Dow is the laggard, up 18.6%.

It is a slow week overall for economic data, but investors will get a look at home prices on Tuesday when the October reading for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is released before the bell.

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