PAS Weekly Commentary

Seasonality Keeps Market Afloat to End 2021

The major indices ended the last week of 2021 on a mostly positive note, particularly for the S&P 500 (+0.9%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (+1.1%). Both gained around 1.0% and set intraday and closing record highs this week. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.1% while the Russell 2000 increased 0.2%.

There weren't any specific catalysts driving the action, suggesting seasonal factors and year-end rebalancing activity played influential roles. This week encompassed part of the Santa Claus rally period, which is defined as the last five sessions of the year and the first two sessions of the new year.

Ten of the 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory for the week. No sector rose more than the 3.7% gain in the real estate sector, but the materials (+2.6%), consumer staples (+2.5%), and utilities (+2.6%) sectors did compete. The communication services sector (-0.8%) closed lower after a tough session on Friday.

There was plenty of COVID-19 news in the mix.

The bad news was that businesses continued to see Omicron-related disruptions, as called out by Micron (MU) and seen in flight/cruise line cancelations. The CDC even upped its travel notice on cruise lines to Level 4, advising people to "avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status."

The CDC, however, shortened the recommended isolation time for asymptomatic people with COVID-19 to five days from 10 days. The FDA, meanwhile, is expected to expand eligibility for Pfizer's (PFE) booster shot to 12- to 15-year-olds on Monday. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) said data demonstrated its booster shot was 85% effective against hospitalization in South Africa when the Omicron variant was dominant.

The Treasury market was quiet this week. The 10-yr yield increased two basis points to 1.51% (+59 bps in 2021) while the 2-yr yield increased four basis points to 0.73% (+61 bps in 2021).

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Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index. Diversification does not guarantee investment returns and does not eliminate the risk of loss.

Data and rates used were indicative of market conditions as of the date shown and compiled by Briefing.com. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a solicitation, offer, or recommendation to purchase or sell a security. S&P 500 Index is a market index generally considered representative of the stock market as a whole. The index focuses on the large-cap segment of the U.S. equities market. Each company’s security affects the index in proportion to its market value. NASDAQ Composite Index is a market value-weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue chip stocks, primarily industrials, but also includes financial, leisure and other service-oriented firms. Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the smallest 2,000 companies in the Russell 3000 Index of the 3,000 largest U.S. companies in terms of market capitalization. MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets.

Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian). PAS is a registered broker/dealer offering competitive investment products, as well as a registered investment advisor offering financial planning and investment advisory services. PAS is a member of FINRA and SIPC.

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2022-131604 (Exp. 04/22)

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