Stock Market Today: Dow Up 6 Straight Days, S&P Sets Another Record

The S&P 500 eked out yet another all-time high Wednesday amid otherwise calm trading in 2021's final week.

Concept art of the stock market going higher
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The "Santa Claus rally" was back on Wednesday, albeit with little conviction and limited breadth.

Another tame day for the broader indexes shifted the spotlight to individual equities, and interestingly, two very different companies' price moves were tethered to South Korean tech giant Samsung.

Biogen (BIIB (opens in new tab), +9.5%) shares popped after the Korean Economic Daily (opens in new tab), citing investment banking sources, reported that Samsung is in talks to buy the biotechnology firm for $42 billion – which would be its largest-ever transaction.

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Also Wednesday, computer-memory maker Micron (MU (opens in new tab), +3.5%) enjoyed a decent stock pop after reports that a COVID outbreak in a Chinese factory had forced Samsung – a major rival – to throttle back some production.

The broader market continues to be driven by cautious optimism that the omicron COVID variant's effect on equities will ultimately be modest.

"Viruses tend to get more contagious and less deadly as they evolve; we believe this is happening to the COVID virus," says Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer of multi-asset strategies and solutions at Voya Investment Management. "Markets have determined that Omicron won't have a long-lasting, negative impact on the economy, and therefore won't cause a big sell-off."

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The S&P 500 (+0.1% to 4,793) managed to scratch out its 70th consecutive new high of the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3% to 36,488) extended its win streak to six sessions. However, the Nasdaq Composite (-0.1% to 15,766) slid for the second straight day.

stock chart for 122921

(Image credit: YCharts)

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 managed a 0.1% gain to 2,249.
  • U.S. crude oil futures rose after Energy Information Administration data showed a slump in U.S. crude inventories, finishing up 0.8% to $76.56 per barrel.
  • Gold futures declined by 0.3% to $1,805.80 per ounce.
  • Bitcoin was off by just less than 1.0% to $47,361.89. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m.)

The Pros' Top Picks for 2022

2022 will be chock full of attractive investment opportunities, but metaphorically speaking, you might do better with a squirt gun than with a water balloon.

Morgan Stanley is among the more bearish outfits with regards to 2022, saying that "with financial conditions tightening and earnings growth slowing, the 12-month risk/reward for the broad indices looks unattractive at current prices." But they add that "strong nominal GDP growth should continue to provide plenty of good investment opportunities at the stock level for active managers."

We at Kiplinger have already weighed in plenty over the past few months, offering up our best stock ideas for 2022 (opens in new tab), as well as a long list of value plays (opens in new tab) for what many predict will be a value-friendly environment. So today, we'll share with you what Wall Street's pros have to say.

Our list of the pros' 22 top stocks to invest in for 2022 is a diverse group of holdings covering most of the 11 sectors – understandable given that analysts aren't exactly unanimous about where the market's gains will come from. Each of these picks enjoys a Strong Buy consensus rating among the covering analysts who have sounded off on these stocks over the past three months.

Check out the link above to discover what these high-conviction picks are, and what about them has Wall Street so excited.

Kyle Woodley
Senior Investing Editor, Kiplinger.com

Kyle is senior investing editor for Kiplinger.com. As a writer and columnist, he also specializes in exchange-traded funds. He joined Kiplinger in September 2017 after spending six years at InvestorPlace.com, where he managed the editorial staff. His work has appeared in several outlets, including U.S. News & World Report and MSN Money, he has appeared as a guest on Fox Business Network and Money Radio, and he has been quoted in MarketWatch, Vice and Univision, among other outlets. He is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, where he earned a BA in journalism.