Stock Futures Push Higher After S&P 500 Sets Another Record

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A Wall Street sign at the New York Stock Exchange (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Stock futures rose Tuesday following another record high on Wall Street but the gains were capped by concerns over the continued surge in global coronavirus cases.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points, or 0.14%, S&P 500 futures were up 0.11% and Nasdaq futures gained 0.23%. Asian stocks closed Tuesday with gains while European shares traded mostly higher early in the session.

The S&P 500 set its 69th record closing high of the year on Monday, closing up 1.4% to 4,791. Tech giant Apple (ticker: AAPL) rose 2.3% to $180.33 and closed at its 24th record high for the year. The stock edged closer to a valuation of $3 trillion. 

The record high for Apple, however, came the same day the company said it was closing its New York city stores to shoppers after a Covid-19 spike. The New York stores remain open for pickup only. 

A surge in the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19 has pushed global cases of the virus to a daily all-time high, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened the recommended isolation period for people with Covid-19 to five days from 10 if they are asymptomatic, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others.

Brian Vendig, president of MJP Wealth Advisors, a wealth management firm based in Westport, Conn., said Monday’s gains on Wall Street suggest the market is “confident that we can overcome the near-term challenges from the Omicron variant.”

He said light trading volumes and retail investors could support stock market gains through the last trading sessions of the year, the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day when Wall Street often gets a “Santa Claus rally.”

Vendig said the market’s focus in 2021 largely will remain the same next year, with investors continuing to watch “the trajectory of the pandemic, supply-chain issues, inflation and how the Federal Reserve plans to shape policy.”

He doesn’t expect the stock market to perform next year as well as it did in 2021. The S&P 500 has risen 27.6% this year.

Write to Joe Woelfel at joseph.woelfel@barrons.com