Dec. 22 - The main indexes of Wall Street pushed up Wednesday in a broad rally followed by strong consumer confidence and other economic data. Developing questions were raised about the severity of the Omicron coronavirus-type that is spreading the world.
Stocks gained for a second straight session as volatility ratcheted up in the last month of 2021 in the hope of the arrival of Omicron and a more well-defined year for stocks.
A South African study suggested reduced risks of hospitalization and severe disease in people infected with the Omicron variant versus the one in Delta, but officials warned it was too early to draw definitive conclusions.
We are still facing the Omicron outbreak, but in the last few days,... more evidence has been building that the strain is potentially less severe than the previous strains, namely Delta, which seems to be a good sign for re-emergency in 2022, said Mike Stritch.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 188,51 points, or 0.53%, to 35,681.21, the S&P 500 increased 26,11 points, or 0.56%, to 4675.34 and the Nasdaq Composite added 64,98 points, or 0.42%, to 15,406.06.
Tesla shares rose 5.5% to bolster S&P 500 and Nasdaq. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a interview he sold a lot of stock following a few weeks of share sales by the billionaire.
Consumer confidence in the United States increased in December, suggesting that the economy will continue to expand in 2022. The survey from the Conference Board showed more consumers planned on buying small-ticket cars and household appliances as well as going on vacation over the next six months.
Other reports show the US home sales rose 3rd month in November and that net domestic product increased at an annual rate of 23% in the July and September quarter, falling to 2% last month.
All 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, followed by consumer discretionary.
In an encouraging development against the pandemic, the United States approved Pfizer Inc's oral antiviral antiviral pill for at-risk people aged 12 and over, making it the first at-home treatment for the coronavirus.
The benchmark S&P 500 is now up by around two-quarters in 2021.
There were 289 decreases on the NYSE; Nasdaq favored 144 risers.
The S&P 500 recorded 14 new highs and 72 new lows.
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