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Updated December 30th, 2023 at 13:13 IST

Wall Street wraps up 2023 with stellar year-end rally

Despite the modest dip on the last trading day, the stock market exhibited remarkable upward momentum in the closing months of the year.

Business Desk
Wall Street Santa Rally
Wall Street Santa Rally | Image:Unsplash
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In the final trading session of 2023, US stocks ended slightly lower, marking the end of a robust year-end rally fuelled by anticipation of easier monetary policy in the upcoming year.

Despite the modest dip on the last trading day, the stock market exhibited remarkable upward momentum in the closing months of the year, propelling all three major indexes S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq to monthly, quarterly, and annual gains. Each of these indexes achieved double-digit growth for the year, capping an impressive performance.

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Oliver Pursche, Senior Vice President at Wealthspire Advisors in New York, highlighted the unexpected strength of the market, emphasizing the optimistic outlook for 2024. Smallcaps, represented by the Russell 2000, particularly saw a resurgence, reversing a year-to-date loss to end the year with a 15.1 per cent gain.

The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq secured nine consecutive weekly gains, signifying a notable winning streak. The S&P 500, in particular, remains within 1 per cent of its record closing high reached on January 3, 2022. Closing above that level would confirm the index's entry into a bull market since touching its bear market trough in October 2022.

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The year was marked by significant events, including the US banking crisis in March, a boom in artificial intelligence stocks, concerns over oil supply due to the Israel-Hamas war, and fears of restrictive Fed policies impacting the US economy.

The year-end rally gained momentum in December, prompted by the Federal Reserve's indication of potential US interest rate cuts in 2024 after a campaign of rate hikes to address inflation.

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In the last trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 20.56 points (0.05 per cent) to 37,689.54, the S&P 500 lost 13.52 points (0.28 per cent) to 4,769.83, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 83.78 points (0.56 per cent) to 15,011.35.

For the year, technology, communication services, and consumer discretionary sectors outperformed, while utilities, energy, and consumer staples experienced losses.

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Uber Technologies fell by 2.5 per cent, and Lyft lost 3.5 per cent, following a report of a downgrade by Nomura on the ride-sharing platforms.

As the markets close for New Year's Day on Monday, January 1, 2024, investors reflect on a tumultuous yet ultimately positive year for US stocks.

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(With Reuters inputs)
 

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Published December 30th, 2023 at 13:13 IST

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