Stocks fell slightly as the final trading week of 2022 began

Stocks fell slightly on Tuesday, opening the final trading week of 2022. Investors wondered whether a Santa Claus rally would emerge and lift a market burdened by recession fears.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was last down 13 points, or 0.04%. The S&P 500 fell 0.5%, while the Nasdaq composite fell 1.1%.

Stocks linked to China rose The country eased Covid restrictions. Tesla collapsed 5% on news of extended production shutdownwhen Southwest fell 4% as the airline canceled thousands of flights.

Shares are heading for their worst annual performance since 2008 and another low month. In December, the S&P 500 fell roughly 5.8%, while the Dow and Nasdaq fell 4% and 8.5%, respectively. This was the biggest monthly decline since September.

After a brutal year consumed by inflation and recession fears, investors are hoping to end 2022 on a positive note. Friday started the season for the Santa Claus rally, ie Generally considered the final five-day trading stretch of the current yearas well as the first two trading days of the new year.

Markets were closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday. In this shortened trading week, investors expect relatively quiet or more volatility due to low trading volumes.

Questions also linger about whether volatility will continue into 2023 and what the economy and inflation will bring as the calendar year turns a corner.

On the economic front, traders await the latest data on November total inventories and October S&P/Case-Shiller home prices before Tuesday.

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