Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stocks are set to dip at open after Dow’s record close, Nasdaq’s slide
People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 4, 2022 in New York City.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures fell slightly Wednesday, one day after the Dow closed at another record. The 30-stock average rose nearly 0.6% following Monday’s advance on the first trading day of 2022. Investors sought shares that stand to benefit from an economic recovery, betting the explosion of Covid cases in the U.S. due to the omicron variant won’t shut things down again.
- The S&P 500 dropped slightly Tuesday from the previous session’s record close.
- The Nasdaq lost 1.3% on Tuesday as growth-oriented tech stocks were knocked around by a 10-year Treasury yield above 1.7% at one stage. The 10-year yield fell Wednesday.
- The seasonal Santa Claus rally, which often happens in the last week of December and the first two trading days in January, held for the Dow and S&P 500. However, the Nasdaq was lower during that stretch.
2. ADP shows surging job growth at U.S. companies last month
ADP’s December report on hiring at U.S. companies, which was out before-the-bell Wednesday, showed job growth of 807,000 positions, more than double estimates. The November total was revised lower from the initially reported 534,000. The Labor Department is scheduled to release weekly jobless claims data Thursday and the monthly employment report for December on Friday.
The Federal Reserve will be watching those numbers carefully ahead of its two-day January meeting later in the month. At 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the Fed is out with minutes from its meeting in December when it unveiled plans to accelerate bond-purchase tapering and signaled three interest rate hikes in 2022.
3. Wall Street strategists see a bumpier year ahead as the Fed tightens policy
As the Fed begins to tighten its ultra-easy monetary policy, Wall Street is expecting a bumpier road ahead for the stock market this year. The median year-end target for the S&P 500 now stands at 5,050, only a 5% gain from Tuesday’s close of 4,793.54, according to CNBC’s Strategist Survey. The highest 2022 target of 5,330 comes from Oppenheimer’s John Stoltzfus. The lowest 2022 target of 4,400 comes from Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson.
4. CDC panel to hold booster meeting as agency updates Covid isolation guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tami Chappell | Reuters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is set to hold a meeting Wednesday to discuss the use of a booster dose of Pfizer’s two-shot Covid vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.
- On Tuesday, the CDC recommended shortening the interval between Pfizer’s second dose and the booster shot to five months from six.
- The agency amended its controversial Covid isolation guidance, declining to add a testing requirement as public health officials expected after the CDC last week cut its recommended quarantine from 10 days to five.
- The CDC also said omicron represented 95% of sequenced Covid cases in the U.S. during the week ended New Year’s Day, while the once-dominant delta variant was only 4.6% of sequenced cases.
5. Chicago schools are closed for the day as union votes to go remote
Students leave Darwin Elementary in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, the first day back to school from winter break for Chicago Public Schools.
Brian Cassella | Tribune News Service | Getty Images
Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge of Covid cases. It’s the latest development in an escalating battle over pandemic safety protocols in the nation’s third-largest school district. The status of instruction for the rest of the week remained unclear. District leaders said a plan to “continue student learning” would come later Wednesday. School officials deemed the union action a “work stoppage” and said those who did not report to schools Wednesday would not be compensated.
— Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow all the market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. Get the latest on the pandemic with CNBC’s coronavirus coverage.