The markets jingled with festive cheer as post-Christmas trading propelled the S&P 500 closer to an unparalleled high. The bustling exchange on Tuesday witnessed many gains, painting a vivid picture of a buoyant economy.

The S&P 500, basking in its longest winning streak since 2017, notched a near 0.5% rise, tantalizingly close to surpassing its zenith set nearly two years ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average mirrored the enthusiasm, climbing 0.4%, while the Nasdaq composite joyously soared 0.5% higher.

This rally was no lone star. Advancers swarmed, outnumbering decliners by almost 3 to 1 on the illustrious New York Stock Exchange. The numbers danced in celebration: the S&P 500 ascended 20.12 points to a lofty 4,774.75, the Dow joyfully gained 159.36 points to reach 37,545.33, and the Nasdaq gleefully added 81.60 points, embracing 15,074.57.

Tech and industrial stocks spearheaded this triumphant march. In a triumphant leap, Intel surged over 5%, claiming the title of the day’s biggest S&P 500 gainer, while Caterpillar joined the revelry with a 1.8% ascent.

Energized by a 2.7% hike in the price of U.S. crude oil, energy stocks ascended, with Hess marking a 1.4% climb. The smaller players added zest, propelling the Russell 2000 index 1.2% higher.

The market fireworks intensified with surges sparked by company deals. Bristol Myers Squibb announced a $4.1 billion acquisition of RayzeBio, hot on the heels of a $14 billion swoop for Karuna Therapeutics. Bristol Myers shares saw a dip of 1.6%, while RayzeBio rocketed, nearing the acquisition’s anticipated value at $62.50 per share.

HollySys Automation Technologies jumped a merry 5.2% after an enticing buyout offer from a consortium led by Dazheng Group Acquisition.

Amidst this financial ballet, Treasury yields choreographed a mixed performance, with the 10-year Treasury yield holding steady at 3.90%.

As we approach the final curtain of 2024, the S&P 500 has delivered an impressive performance, boasting a year-to-date increase of over 24%, while the Nasdaq steals the spotlight with a remarkable 44% surge.

What fuels this market merriment? Investors revel in the waning specter of inflation and an economy robust beyond expectations. Traders continue to wager on a Federal Reserve rate cut of at least 1.50 percentage points by the year’s end. Between 5.25% and 5.50%, the federal funds rate marks its loftiest stance over two decades, hinting at intriguing times ahead.