Following the rollercoaster ride seen last week, stocks showed a strong move to the upside during trading on Monday. The major averages all moved notably higher on the day, with the Dow posting a particularly strong gain.
The major averages pulled back off their best levels in late-day trading but remained firmly positive. The Dow surged 646.95 points or 1.9 percent to 35,227.03, the Nasdaq advanced 139.68 points or 0.9 percent to 15,225.15 and the S&P 500 jumped 53.24 points or 1.2 percent to 4,591.67.
The strength on Wall Street partly reflected easing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus amid indications the new strain causes milder symptoms.
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN it is too early to make definitive statements but said early signals regarding the severity of Omicron are “encouraging.”
Fauci also expressed optimism the Biden administration could lift travel restrictions on several African nations in a “reasonable period of time.”
The turnaround by the Nasdaq may also have been due to bargain hunting after the tech-heavy index ended last Friday’s trading at its lowest closing level in well over a month.
Meanwhile, the jump by the Dow comes amid standout gains by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Boeing (BA) and Intel (INTC).
Airline stocks skyrocketed amid easing concerns about the Omicron variant, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 5.8 percent. The index continued to rebound after hitting its lowest levels in a year last week.
Substantial strength was also visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 3.7 percent spike by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The rally by oil service stocks came as the price of crude oil for January delivery surged $3.23 to $69.49 a barrel.
Housing stocks also showed a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 2.5 percent to its best closing level in almost seven months.
Steel, financial and telecom stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index both surged up by 1.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries pulled back sharply after soaring in recent sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, jumped 9.1 basis points to 1.434 percent after ending last Friday’s trading at a two-month closing low.
News on the Omicron front may continue to impact trading on Tuesday, while reports on the U.S. trade deficit and labor productivity and costs may also attract attention.
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