US stocks rally amid hopes for milder Covid-19 variant

Major indices shrugged off a mixed start and picked up momentum throughout the session, ultimately lifting the Dow index by almost two per cent



Employees of the media company BuzzFeed gather in front of the Nasdaq market site in Times Square. — AFP
Employees of the media company BuzzFeed gather in front of the Nasdaq market site in Times Square. — AFP

By AFP

Published: Tue 7 Dec 2021, 1:35 AM

Wall Street stocks rallied on Monday on hopes that the newest Covid-19 variant will prove less virulent than earlier strains, though market watchers cautioned of more volatility ahead.

Major indices shrugged off a mixed start and picked up momentum throughout the session, ultimately lifting the Dow index by almost two per cent.

“Reports of the Omicron symptoms being less severe are boosting risk appetite, but it’s too soon to get carried away,” Craig Erlam of Oanda said in a note.

Charles Schwab investment bank cautioned of continuity uncertainty over the Omicron variant and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s recent shift towards a more restrictive monetary policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 1.9 per cent, or nearly 650 points, at 35,227.03.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.2 per cent to 4,591.67, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.9 per cent to 15,225.15.

Major indices retreated last week as public health officials tracked the latest Omicron variant of Covid-19 while the Delta strain continues to rage in many countries.

Among individual companies, Lucid Group dropped 5.1 per cent after disclosing that US securities regulators issued a subpoena to the electric car maker over the transaction that took the company public.

Tesla fell 0.6 per cent following a report that it also faces a US securities probe. A spokesperson for the Securities and Exchange Commission said the agency “does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation”.

In its debut, BuzzFeed fell 11 per cent in the media company’s first full day as a publicly traded company after an initial public offering raised less money than expected.

This week’s calendar includes the November report on consumer prices, which comes amid heightened worries over inflation.


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