10 Things Before the Opening Bell: December 30

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Let’s get into it. 

1. This year’s best and worst. Stellar corporate earnings and loose monetary policies have helped a roughly 30% return this year for the S&P 500, which has notched 70 record closing highs along the way. 

Shale producers turned out to be the best-performing stocks on the benchmark index in 2021, as oil prices surged — Devon Energy and Marathon Oil topped Insider’s year-end roundup. 

But 70 S&P 500 stocks generated negative returns this year. Among the worst performers: Global Payments, Penn National Gaming, and Viatris.

Looking ahead to 2022, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said the market could perform better than he’d thought previously. In a note, he pointed out that since 1938, the S&P 500 has seen average and median returns of 12% and 16%, respectively, in the year after a 27% gain or more. That’s better than his S&P 500 target of 5,100 by the end of 2022, representing a potential upside of about 6%.

2. US stocks are set for a modestly higher start later. Volumes are thin on the ground in the second-to-last trading day of the year. But there’s still plenty to catch up on.

3. Three financial experts told Insider how to reduce the taxes on profits earned from crypto in 2021. This year was a record year for crypto trading, and it made people a lot of money. Here’s what you need to know about taxes, and last-minute tactics to minimize them.

4. On the docket: Water Oasis Group, Emperor Capital Group, and Vitality Products, all reporting.

5. Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest sold more Tesla stock and bought shares of virtual healthcare firm Teladoc. Three of Wood’s funds sold Tesla shares worth about $4 million on Tuesday, and her funds bought about $3 million in Teladoc. The moves come at the tail end of a rough trading year for Ark Invest’s ETFs.

6. ProShares plans to launch a metaverse ETF that tracks companies like Apple and Meta. The ETF will offer exposure to companies involved in metaverse-related technologies, if the fund is approved by the SEC. Here’s what else the filings showed. 

7. The CEO of Tokens.com estimated he’s had a 10-fold appreciation in his metaverse property portfolio. Andrew Kiguel said he plans to develop a recent $2.4 million virtual land purchase into a destination for luxury brands: “It’s all about location.”

8. NFT sales hit $319 million over the past week. Investors and entrepreneurs have flocked to the non-fungible tokens market, which has boomed to $14 billion in total sales this year. These were the five best-selling digital collections of the last seven days.

9. Nine top Wall Street firms shared their 2022 predictions for inflation and how to invest. With inflation expected to drop from multi-decade highs next year, here’s where giants like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley say you should put your money. 

10. Within five years, this 31-year-old built a portfolio of 10 properties worth nearly $4.4 million. He explained the three-part criteria that helped kickstart his plan — and shared the “most powerful” way to leverage the so-called nomad strategy in today’s market.

Compiled by Phil Rosen. Feedback? Email prosen@insider.com or tweet @philrosenn.

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