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Holiday-shortened session – What to know in markets Tuesday

Tuesday’s drought of U.S. economic reports and corporate earnings releases will leave investors with little new data to digest as hopes run high for an end-of-year rally to come through.

The session marks the start of a so-called Santa Claus rally, which extends over the last five trading days of the calendar year into the first two of the new year. Since 1950, the average S&P 500 gain during this period has been 1.3%, according to the oft-cited definition in the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

Even amid last year’s fourth-quarter slump, the S&P 500 managed to deliver a 4.1% return over last year’s Santa Claus rally period.

With hopes of a phase one trade deal getting signed, Brexit uncertainty mostly taken off the table and the Federal Reserve indicating it will remain on hold through next year, many market watchers believe further appreciation into the start of 2020 may be set to take place. Last week, the S&P 500 returned 1.7% – its best weekly advance since early September.

Tuesday will also be a shortened trading session, with U.S. equity markets set to end trading at 1 p.m. ET and credit markets closing at 2 p.m. ET in observance of the Christmas Eve holiday. Both markets will be closed Wednesday in observance of Christmas Day.

A man dressed as Santa Claus walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)

The Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index is the only notable piece of economic data is set for release Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus economists expect the print to rebound to a positive reading of 1, from -1 in November, reflecting the broader recovery in the domestic manufacturing sector at the regional level.

Such an outcome would mirror the surprise rebound in the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index, which was shown Monday to have risen to 0.56 in November from -0.76 in October primarily due to a jump in production- and employment-related indicators.

No major corporate earnings results are scheduled for release Tuesday.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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