Stocks inch up heading into Christmas

Stocks inch up heading into Christmas

Markets on Thursday closed slightly up after a shortened Christmas Eve trading day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 70 points, or 0.2 percent, and the S&P 500 finished up 13 points, or 0.4 percent. The NASDAQ was similarly up 34 points, or 0.3 percent.

Markets closed at 1 p.m. Thursday for the holiday, and will not reopen until Monday.

The final days of December tend to be good for stock markets, in a phenomenon known as the “Santa Claus Rally.” The average return over the seven-day period over the past 70 years has been 1.33 percent, according to LPL Financial.

But drama in Washington could yet throw the Santa rally off its trail. President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy to offer UC request to revisit foreign spending in omnibus GOP senator on Trump pardons: ‘This is rotten to the core’ Trump pardons Manafort, Stone and Charles Kushner in latest round MORE implicitly raised the possibility of vetoing a mammoth, $2.3 trillion year-end funding bill, which would lead to a government shutdown Monday night, allow unemployment programs supporting millions of people to expire and put off more federal COVID-19 relief.

On Tuesday night, he demanded that the already-passed bills be rewritten to include $2,000 stimulus checks instead of the $600 checks Congress agreed to.

Updated at 1:41 p.m.