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Stocks edge higher on Wall Street; Southwest losses mount

South Korea Financial Markets
Posted at 10:57 AM, Dec 28, 2022

Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday as investors count down to the end of the worst year for the S&P 500 since 2008.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 10:12 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 12 points, or less than 0.1%, to 33,257 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, slipped to 3.84% from 3.85% Tuesday.

Investors are in the middle of a mostly quiet and holiday-shortened week. Markets were closed on Monday for the observed Christmas holiday and there are no major economic reports expected this week.

Stocks were mostly restrained. Health care and technology companies had some of the broadest gains. Eli Lilly rose 0.5% and Microsoft rose 0.8%.

Tesla rose 2.3% as it rebounded from steep losses it suffered after reports Tuesday that it temporarily suspended production at a factory in Shanghai.

U.S. crude oil prices fell 1.8% and weighed down energy stocks. Hess fell 2%.

Southwest Airlines shed 2.5% as the carrier's dramatic trouble with flight cancellations continued.

The Chinese government announced late Tuesday that it will start issuing new passports, a major step away from anti-virus travel barriers that likely will bring a flood of tourists out of China for next month’s Lunar New Year holiday. China has already said it will drop most of its COVID-19 travel restrictions next month.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.6%, while the Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.3%.

Markets in Europe were mixed.

Wall Street remains on edge and will likely continue dealing with volatile trading as the Federal Reserve continues its fight against stubbornly hot inflation. The Fed and other central banks have been raising interest rates to stifle borrowing and slow spending in order to tame inflation. The strategy, though, risks slowing the economy too much and bringing on a recession.

The Fed has already raised its key interest rate seven times this year and is expected to continue raising rates in 2023.