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Dow Closes at Record High in First Trading Day of 2022

Stocks end higher on the first trading day of 2022 amid travel chaos brought on by the spread of the omicron variant.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a strong start to the new year Monday by closing at a record high as Wall Street looked beyond concerns about the spread of the omicron variant.

The Dow finished up 246 points, or 0.68% to 36,585, while the S&P 500 was gained 0.64% and the Nasdaq advanced 1.20%.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report became the first U.S. company to reach $3 trillion in market capitalization Monday, as the computer giant briefly crossed the stunning milestone during intraday trading. Shares finished up 2.5% to $182.01.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report surged 13.5% to lead the Nasdaq after bucking the industrywide trend of reduced sales due to the shortage of computer chips and other parts, posting record sales in the fourth quarter, up 71% from a year earlier.

Ford  (F) - Get Free Report finished up 4.8% and General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report gained 4.4%.

Boeing  (BA) - Get Free Report, one of the Dow's worst performers in 2021, was one of the top gainers, along with Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Free Report and Intel  (INTC) - Get Free Report.

Goldman Sachs reportedly backtracked on plans to return to the office, according to Barron's, which cited an email from the investment house that was sent to eligible employees Sunday asking them to work from home until Jan. 18.

"I am expecting a very strong January, characterized by higher trading volume as well as stunning fourth-quarter sales and earnings announcement," said Louis Navellier, founder of money manager Navellier & Associates. "Interestingly, thanks to political gridlock, the private sector is expected to dominate GDP growth in 2022. Inflation is expected to persist, but may moderate somewhat in the second half of 2022."

Ironically, Navellier added, "the current inflationary environment is helping to boost our growth stocks, which remain a great inflation hedge."

The market's positive momentum follows a strong close-out to 2021.

The S&P 500 rose nearly 27% for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite and Dow industrials also posted large returns. 

Stocks fell slightly on Friday, but the S&P 500 and Dow were positive for the final week of the year.

So-called reopening stocks finished higher, including Alaska Air Group  (ALK) - Get Free Report, Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Free Report and Norwegian Cruise Lines  (CCL) - Get Free Report.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded eligibility for Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Free Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Free Report booster shots to children ages 12 to 15 years old.

The agency also narrowed the time for all booster shots to 5 months from 6 months after primary doses and authorized a third shot in children aged 5 through 11 years who are immunocompromised.

Thousands of U.S. flights were canceled over New Year's weekend due to a combination of Covid-19 disruptions and winter weather.

Data from flight tracker website FlightAware showed more than 4,464 flights were canceled globally on Sunday -- the second-largest day of cancellations since Christmas Eve. At least 2,709 of the cancellations were within, into or out of the U.S.

As of Monday afternoon, 4,595 flights had been cancelled globally, including 2,973 U.S. flights.

Three China-based electric-car companies -- Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get Free Report, Nio  (NIO) - Get Free Report and Li Auto  (LI) - Get Free Report -- reported stronger deliveries for December, the fourth quarter and full year.

Wells Fargo  (WFC) - Get Free Report climbed 5.7% after Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg upgraded the financial services company to overweight from equal weight and boosted its price target to $62 from $50.