NEW YORK (Sputnik) – US stocks drifted to a broadly lower close on Tuesday, in a pause to the so-called “Santa Claus rally,” despite an early record high for the key S&P 500 index.Wall Street has risen in the past four sessions, with gains all round for the S&P 500 as well as the two other major US equity indexes – the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many had taken to calling it the Santa Claus rally that typically starts around Christmas and lasts through the year-end.While Tuesday’s broad dip did not necessarily mean the uptrend was broken, it reinforced another year-end occurrence common in stock markets: higher volatility amid lighter volume, as many traders took off for their Christmas and New Year holidays.The S&P 500, which lists the top 500 US stocks, closed the day down 0.1% at 4,786, after setting an all-time peak of 4,807 right after the start of the trading session. For the year, the S&P 500 is up 27%.
Nasdaq, which groups major technology names such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, slid 0.6% to settle at 15,781. Year-to-date, the Nasdaq is up 22%.
The blue-chip Dow, which lists a wide variety of stocks from leisure to banking and agriculture, was the only gainer of the day among the three Wall Street indexes. It rose 0.3% to settle at 36,398. For the year, the Dow is up 19%.