Futures Dip in Quiet Trading as New Year Beckons

By Reuters
December 31, 2021 Updated: December 31, 2021

U.S. stock index futures slipped on Friday, even as Wall Street’s main indexes looked to finish the year with handsome gains for the third time in a row, supported by massive stimulus, and strong retail participation.

Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Dow slipped 0.2 percent on the last day of 2021, a day after scaling intraday all-time highs.

Tesla Inc. slipped half a percent in premarket trading as it recalled more than 475,000 of its Model 3 and Model S electric cars to address rearview camera and trunk issues that increase the risk of crashing.

The S&P 500 and Dow hit all-time highs this week, as optimism from early data suggesting the Omicron variant was less virulent than other strains outweighed worries from record-high surge in U.S. cases and warnings of disruptions ahead.

Aiding sentiment was a string of upbeat data this week, including a report that showed no impact yet of the rampant jump in infections on the U.S. labor market, although market action has been choppy in thin holiday trading.

At 6:27 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 60 points, or 0.17 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.17 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 30.75 points, or 0.19 percent.

The S&P 500 is set to exit the year 27 percent higher, with energy sector’s 47.4 percent jump outperforming all other sector indexes. Real estate and technology sectors, up 44 percent and 34 percent, respectively, over the past year, were the next best performers.

As investors prepare to ring in the New Year, fourth-quarter earnings, the pace of monetary policy tightening, and midterm elections in the U.S. Congress will be key in determining the path forward for stock markets.

By Medha Singh