Mutual funds, index funds and ETFs: How to use these to build wealth
Buying an ETF or mutual fund is a cheaper, less risky way for new investors to enter the stock market. Here are the pros and cons of each, explained.
For My Money, USA TODAY
Wall Street got 2022 off to a solid start with more record highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, a day after closing out 2021 with big gains for the third year in a row.
The Dow rose 0.7% and the Nasdaq rose 1.2%. Apple rose 2.5%, closing just below a market capitalization of $3 trillion.
Technology companies and banks were among the biggest winners. Electric car maker Tesla rose sharply after reporting strong delivery numbers for 2021.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.64%
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Banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans, gained ground. Bank of America rose 3.7%.
Smaller company stocks also notched gains, a signal that investors felt confident about economic growth. The Russell 2000 rose 0.9%.
Health care companies fell broadly and kept gains elsewhere in the market in check. Pfizer shed 3.6% despite news that the U.S. expanded the use of its COVID-19 booster shots for children as young as 12.
Industrial stocks also fell. Union Pacific, a railroad operator, slid 1.9%.
Apple was up 2.5%, nudging the iPhone maker closer to becoming the first company to hit a market capitalization of $3 trillion.
The major challenges to the economy and corporate profits that investors navigated in 2021 remain potential headwinds in the new year, including the viral pandemic. Wall Street has been busy since December monitoring the latest wave of cases with the omicron variant.
Businesses and consumers are also still dealing with supply chain problems and persistently rising inflation that has made a wide range of goods more expensive. The rising costs could threaten to crimp consumer spending and weaken economic growth.
The long list of concerns made for a choppy end to 2021, but didn’t stop the broader market from notching another year of strong gains. The S&P 500 finished with a gain of 26.9% in 2021, or a total return of 28.7%, including dividends. That’s nearly as much as the benchmark index gained in 2019.
Investors have several key pieces of economic data to look forward to during the first week of the new year. The Institute for Supply Management will give investors an update on the manufacturing sector on Tuesday and the services sector on Thursday.
The big event on the economic calendar this week is the Labor Department’s jobs report on Friday.