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S&P 500, Dow Notch Record Closes as Healthcare Shines

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By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P 500 and Dow closed at records Wednesday, led by a Biogen-fueled rally in healthcare and gains in big tech.  

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to notch its 70th record close of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3%, or 90 points to a record of 36,488.63. The Nasdaq was flat.

Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) jumped more than 9% intraday after the Korea Economic Daily reported that the company was in talks about a possible to sale to electronics giant Samsung.

Earlier this year, Samsung (KS:005930) detailed plans to bolster its footprint across multiple sectors including biopharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and artificial intelligence.

Big tech mostly cut its losses to help the broader market to a record close.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) cut intraday losses, while Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) were well off their session lows. 

In Chinese tech, however, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) fell more than 2% following a Bloomberg report that the e-commerce giant was in early talks to sell part or all of its stake in social media platform company Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) to Shanghai Media Group.

Energy was a drag on the broader market even as oil prices rebounded from session lows after weekly U.S. petroleum data showed a larger than expected fall in crude stockpiles and ramp-up in production.  

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), ONEOK (NYSE:OKE), Baker Hughes (NYSE:BKR) were among the biggest decliners.

Airline stocks continued to trade to the tune of Omicron-led data as Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK) cancelled hundreds of flights amid rising cases of Omicron variant and weather conditions.

The U.S. hit a record seven-day case average of 262,034 cases on Tuesday, surpassing the prior record of 251,232 cases seen in January this year.

As the broader market notched its 70th record high, some on Wall Street continue to expect more of the same in the new year.

“If the S&P 500 ends near current levels, next year we could see a total return (index appreciation plus dividends) in the 10% to 12% range based on our current work,” Wells Fargo said.

“So even after a nice run higher this year, we see more upside through year-end 2022,” it added.

S&P 500, Dow Notch Record Closes as Healthcare Shines

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