Weekly Market Insights: S&P Ends 2023 Up 26%

Weekly Market Insights: S&P Ends 2023 Up 26%

January 02, 2024

Stocks posted a slight gain last week amid a shortage of news and light holiday trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.76%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.49%. The Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.32% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, increased 1.13%.1,2,3

Source: YCharts.com, December 30, 2023. Weekly performance is measured from the close of trading on Friday, December 22, to Friday, December 29, close. Treasury note yield is expressed in basis points.

Stocks Gain to End Year

The stock market gains in the final trading days of 2023 capped an exceptional year of performance. The last-week rally also mirrored the historical tendency of stocks to rise at this time of year, a propensity known as the “Santa Claus rally.” The Santa Claus rally covers the final five trading days of the calendar year and the first two days of trading in January.

The average return of the S&P 500 during this Santa Claus rally is 1.3% during the past 73 years. Remember that past performance does not guarantee future results, and individuals cannot invest directly in an index.4

The 2023 week’s gains, led by smaller-capitalization stocks and a handful of industry sectors, were partially erased on Friday as light volume and some profit-taking pressured stocks.

Jobless Claims Rise

Initial jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 218,000, which exceeded economists’ forecasts. The four-week moving average, which better illustrates jobless claim trends, was little changed, coming in at 212,000; this was the lowest number since late October.5

Continuing jobless claims, which measures the number of individuals collecting unemployment benefits, was flat from the previous week at 1.88 million.6

This Week: Key Economic Data

Wednesday:  Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index.

Thursday: Automated Data Processing (ADP) Employment Report. Jobless Claims.

Friday: Employment Situation.

Source: Econoday, December 29, 2023
The Econoday economic calendar lists upcoming U.S. economic data releases (including key economic indicators), Federal Reserve policy meetings, and speaking engagements of Federal Reserve officials. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The forecasts or forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and may not materialize. The forecasts also are subject to revision.

This Week: Companies Reporting Earnings

Thursday: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA), Lamb Weston (LW), Conagra Brands (CAG)

Friday: Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ)

Source: Zacks, December 29, 2023
Companies mentioned are for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of the securities. Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Companies may reschedule when they report earnings without notice.

"To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."

– Bertrand Russell

Need Last Year’s Tax Returns?

Help is available for taxpayers who need tax information for prior years but still need to keep copies of their returns. There are ways to get the information you need.

Keep in mind the IRS recommends that taxpayers keep copies of their returns and any documentation for at least three years after filing:

  • Ask your software provider or tax preparer. This is often the easiest way to get a copy of your tax returns.
  • Order a tax transcript. Taxpayers who cannot get a copy of a prior-year return may order a tax transcript from the IRS. This document partially masks personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. All financial entries, including the filer's adjusted gross income, are apparent. These are free and available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. People can also get these records for the past three years.
  • Pay for a copy from the IRS. As a last resort, you can purchase a copy of your tax return from the IRS. Check the IRS website for the most recent information on the process to follow when ordering a copy and the cost of the return.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov7

Being SMART about fitness goals

Are you putting exercise on the back burner? Instead of saying you will “exercise more,” state a SMART exercise goal. SMART stands for:

Specific: State the objective you wish to meet as precisely as possible: “I am going to commit to doing a full-body video workout several times a week.”

Measurable: Identify quantifiable criteria to allow you to measure your progress: “I am going to do this workout three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. I will track my progress in my workout journal.”

Attainable: Your goal should be ambitious but not impossible: “I am committing to three times a week, not seven times a week, because it is realistic and achievable for me with my current schedule.”

Relevant: Your goals must align with your current circumstances and priorities: “I will do it to stay healthy and strong during these times and to feel less stressed.”

Time-bound: Allocate a specific period for completing your goal: “I will commit to this plan for a month. In 30 days, I will have had 12 workouts and will reassess my goal after that.”

Tip adapted from Sharp.com8

Victor is assigned to paint suite numbers on doors at an office building with 100 suites, which will be numbered from 1 to 100. How many times will he have to paint the number 8?


Last week’s riddle: Liz went into a convenience store at 1:58 AM on Sunday to get a coffee. She drove six miles away and then returned to the store to get a lotto ticket, also at 1:58 AM. The store's clock was working perfectly, so how could it be 1:58 AM again when she returned? Answer: Liz made her trips to the convenience store during the morning when people set clocks back an hour for the end of Daylight Saving Time (at 2:00 AM).

Scenic view of train crossing a viaduct in Switzerland

Footnotes and Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2023

2. The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2023

3. The Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2023

4. Nasdaq.com, December 19, 2023.

5. Bloomberg, December 28, 2023.

6. Bloomberg, December 28, 2023.

7.  IRS.gov, November 14, 2023.

8. Sharp.com, December 12, 2023.

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