Santa Claus rally hasn't come yet. There's still time, but will it even matter for stocks?

Time is quickly running out for Santa Claus to arrive on Wall Street with a rally, but not everyone has given up hope yet, even though the market's been uncertain and volatile up until the very end.

Major stock indexes closed lower on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq-100 even ending at its lowest level this year, making things look bleak for the so-called “Santa Claus rally,” which has occurred 79% of the time since 1950, according to LPL Financial. A rebound across the major indexes on Thursday brought back what has turned out to be false hope for the late, short-lived rally, which some use as an indicator of what’s to come in the new year. Indices slid again on Friday, the last trading day of the year. 

But we still have two more days to make up the lost ground. The Santa Claus rally typically happens during the last five trading days of the year and the first two of the new year. On the first day of trading in January 2022, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index closed at a record high of 4,796.56.

“It is our first seasonal indicator of the year ahead,” wrote Jeff Hirsch, editor of the Stock Trader's Almanac & Almanac Investor Newsletter, which uses historical patterns and market seasonality with other measures to predict stock moves. “Years when there was no Santa Claus rally tended to precede bear markets or times when stocks hit significantly lower prices later in the year.”