Stock Market Update Friday December 22, 2023 Ho Ho Hold That Thought! The "Santa Claus Rally" just kicked off on Friday, a term coined by the late Yale Hirsch. This festive five-day dash into the new year, plus the first two days after, supposedly whispers secrets about how the market will dance the next year. Hirsch even penned a rhymed prophecy: "If Santa Claus should fail to call the bears may come to Broad and Wall. Catchy sure, but Santa Claus Rally gets tossed around on Wall Street like a snow globe. Nowadays, any December uptick gets slapped with the label, regardless of Hirsch's original definition. This loosey-goosey usage can expose some frosty thinking in financial talks. Unless you are a fortune teller, the Santa Claus Rally isn't exactly Nostradamus. Most years 64% to 65% see the market climb anyway. Even during this supposed rally, the green light flickers only slightly more often 68%. Not exactly earth-shattering. It's crucial to remember, our scorecard covers the whole year, not just the mid-year market jigs and pirouettes. So, while the Santa Claus Rally might be a fun tradition, its predictive power is more snowball fight than crystal ball. It does not necessarily mean we are heading lower; it just implies that we might not experience a rally. The light volume will favor the upside, as nobody wants to short a dull stock market.
Stocks ticked higher to cap off the S&P 500's eighth consecutive weekly gain, its longest such winning streak since fall 2017.
Away From Stocks: Treasuries remained in consolidation mode with the two-year yield edging to 4.31% from 4.33% a day ago and the long bond rising two basis points to 4.05%. WTI remained just south of $74 a barrel, gold advanced to $2,052 an ounce and the VIX retreated to 13.