U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday after Wall Street returned from the long holiday weekend to barrel through the final four trading days of 2022.
The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell 0.4%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) slid 1.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) was an outliner, advancing a modest 0.1%.
Tesla (TSLA) was among the day's biggest movers, extending a sharp downtrend after Reuters reported the electric vehicle giant will run a reduced production schedule at its Shanghai factory in January, extending the reduced output it began this month into the new year. Tesla stock tanked more than 11% on Tuesday.
Tesla is now down 40% in the last month and 69% in 2022 so far, placing the company on pace for its worst year on record.
Other electric carmakers were also hit hard on Tuesday, including Chinese automaker NIO (NIO), whose shares slid 8.3% after slashing fourth-quarter deliver guidance over COVID-related supply chain disruptions.
Tesla's sell-off has weighed heavily on Cathie Wood's ARK Invest — a bellwether for speculative technology stocks and large holder of the electric vehicle company. ARK Innovation (ARKK), the firm's beleaguered flagship ETF, hit a new five-year low on Tuesday, falling below $30. The fund is down nearly 70% year-to-date.
Megacaps including Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) sank 1.4%, 2.6%, and 2.1%, respectively.
Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) tumbled 6% after the airline canceled roughly more than 5,000 flights over the past two days.
The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) called the magnitude of canceled flights "unacceptable" and said it would investigate whether the company was responsible.
In other pockets of the market, the U.S. dollar index retreated as China's easing of virus protocols spurred a move out of safe-haven assets. U.S. Treasury yields climbed toward the highest since mid-November.
Oil prices steadied after touch three-week highs as prospects for reopening demand from China added to concerns about the impact of colder weather in the United States on production. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled just below $80 per barrel.
A move by China to scrap quarantine requirements for inbound travelers beginning Jan. 8 had given sentiment a boost earlier in the day, with the country broadening its reopening after three years of zero-COVID controls and travel restrictions. The National Health Commission also said Monday that the nation's management of the virus will be downgraded to Category B from the top-level Category A.
The moves come after an up modest gains Friday that helped the S&P 500 and Dow avert a third-straight weekly loss. The indexes advanced 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. The Nasdaq also closed Friday higher but was down 1.5% for the week.
Investors have been hopeful a Santa Claus Rally can offer some reprieve to equity markets as they head toward their worst year since 2008. The phenomenon – a seasonal rise in the stock market that occurs at the end of December – is typically defined as the last five trading days of the year and first two of the new year. Yale Hirsch, creator of the Stock Trader's Almanac, discovered the pattern in 1972.
A brutal December marked by rate and recession fears has kept selling pressures high all month and dampened hopes for the typical year-end rally.
DataTrek's Jessica Rabe points out that the S&P 500 has a meaningfully better win rate and overall average performance following a negative calendar year of less than 10% than ones that post a higher loss — and 2022 is poised to end in the latter category.
'That said, when the index is down in the double digits as it is today, the odds of it being positive next year is essentially a coin flip and the returns aren't nearly as promising as they would be if the S&P ended down less than 10%,' Rabe said in a recent note. 'If there had been a real 'Santa Claus Rally' this month, the S&P might have ended the year with less than a double-digit decline.'
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter URL
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