S&P 500 Falls Short of Record as Covid Contagion Continues

Despite the Omicron variant appearing less severe than Delta, investors are weighing up the latest daily record for cases

Bloomberg Línea
December 28, 2021 | 06:12 PM

Bloomberg Línea — The S&P 500 failed to mark its 70th record of the year on Tuesday and returned to losses as contagion from the Omicron variant of Covid-19 increased, with an unprecedented number of daily cases worldwide, with Monday’s moving seven-day average was around 841,000 cases, an increase of 49% over the previous month.

The index closed with a loss of 0.10%, while the Dow Jones gained 0.26% and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.56%. The fall in tech shares put the brakes on the index’s gains after shares in the tourism sector recovered after a fall on Monday.

Companies such as Microsoft, Alphabet and Apple quoted in the red during a session marked by a low volume of shares traded.

“I don’t think that today’s setback is an omen of new declines, but the seasonally low volume of this week combined with unusually higher volatility at the individual stock level means that an errant headline could give us significant movement in either direction as we move into the last leg of 2021,” Max Gokhman, chief investment officer at AlphaTrAI, told Bloomberg.


In Latin America, Mexico announced that it will stop exporting oil as of 2023, amid a self-sufficiency plan by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, while Argentina entered the U.S. travel restrictions list.

Here is our market summary:


  • Amid the escalation of Covid-19 cases in the country during the last few weeks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday elevated Argentina to its list of high-risk countries for international travelers.
  • Moderna doses will work in Argentina within the framework of heterologous schemes, in combination with other vaccines, the country announced, and César Sanz Rodríguez, Moderna’s vice president of Medical Affairs Europe, Middle East and Africa, emphasized the value of the vaccine as a booster dose.
  • More than 15 years after it was last used, the Trans-Andean pipeline (Otasa) will become operational again, allowing the export of oil from Argentina to Chile.


  • From this Tuesday, December 28, Colombia will require that all the population over 12 years of age present a vaccination card proving complete vaccination to access events or leisure sites, the Ministry of Health said, and that presentation of the document is mandatory in large-scale events.
  • Colombia’s business regulator has imposed fines on members of a trade union for not providing the information and documents required in the framework of the investigation into irregularities in a million-dollar connectivity contract for rural schools.
  • The trade federation of Antioquia department informed that talks are under way between Mercadería Justo & Bueno and its suppliers amid the complex legal and financial situation that the Colombian company is going through in the midst of its restructuring process.


  • Mexico plans to end crude oil exports in 2023 as part of a strategy of the nationalist government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to achieve self-sufficiency in the local fuel market.
  • Market volatility, derived from fears of new variants of the virus and challenges to the economy, have caused more than 15 of the 35 issuers that make up the S&P/BMV IPC to show the most attractive returns, according to analysts.
  • Mexico will begin administering booster vaccines to teachers starting in 2022, Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell said during a press conference Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.


  • Chilean financial holding CorpGroup Banking, controlled by Álvaro Saieh, presented a plan to liquidate its holdings that would leave unsecured bondholders with only 4 cents on the dollar, Bloomberg reported.
  • The S&P IPSA’s one-year price-to-earnings ratio of 8.7x is the lowest since at least 2006, marking an attractive entry point, LarrainVial analysts Alexander Varschavsky and Leopoldo Silva wrote in a note.


  • Beer packs were the most ordered beverages and hamburgers the preferred food on the tables of Uber Eats app users in Ecuador. In addition, customers showed that they prefer their dishes “without onions”, as the most requested special instruction in food.


  • Although the U.S. dollar has appreciated significantly against the Peruvian sol so far in 2021 (more than 9%), the last week of the year has been positive for the Peruvian currency. Thus, for the fifth consecutive session the dollar exchange rate closed lower, with the U.S. currency retreating 0.31% against the sol.

This is How Stock Markets Performed this Tuesday December 28: