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09 Dec 2021 | 00:01

US close: Stocks higher as investors take Omicron in their stride

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing just below its record, as concerns over the economic disruption of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 waned. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% at 35,754.75, as the S&P 500 added 0.31% to 4,701.21 and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 0.64% to 15,786.99.

The Dow closed 35.32 points higher, modestly extending gains recorded on Tuesday.

"US markets are outperforming their European counterparts, as fears over impending and ongoing restrictions dampen sentiment," said IG senior market analyst Joshua Mahony.

"While US cases are also on the rise, Joe Biden's unwillingness to propose lockdown measures as a means to quell the spread signals less risk for stocks.

"The dollar strength story continues apace thanks to the view that the Fed will be given an environment which would be conducive to faster tapering and an early 2022 rate hike."

The Omicron variant was again in focus on Wednesday, with Pfizer and BioNTech saying preliminary reports indicated that three doses of their vaccine was effective in neutralising the strain, while two doses could possibly still protect recipients against severe disease.

On the macro front, US mortgage applications increased 2% in the seven days ended 3 December, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association - a marked improvement when compared to the prior week's 7.2% decline.

Elsewhere, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' job openings and labour turnover survey revealed that the number of job openings increased to 11.0m on the last business day of October.

Hires were little changed at 6.5m and total separations edged down to 5.9m.

Within separations, the quits rate decreased to 2.8% following a series high in September.

In equities, Weibo Corporation was down 2.51% on Wall Street after the Chinese social media giant sank on its debut in Hong Kong earlier in the global day.

Clothing subscription service Stitch Fix tumbled 23.91% after it released disappointing guidance.

On the upside, food manufacturer Campbell Soup Company was ahead 1.73% despite missing on revenues and warning of increased costs in the second quarter.

Airlines flew higher as those Omicron concerns ebbed, with legacy carriers American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines up 1.9%, 2.21% and 4.24%, respectively.

Low-cost domestic carriers were also in the green, with Spirit Airlines up 3.73%, JetBlue Airways rising 3.06%, and Southwest Airlines eking out gains of 0.13%.

Dow Jones - Risers

Apple Inc. (AAPL) $175.08 2.28% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $153.34 1.68% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $73.21 1.29% American Express Co. (AXP) $168.93 1.19% International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $123.02 1.18% Boeing Co. (BA) $211.00 1.05% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $213.53 1.05% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $468.86 0.89% Visa Inc. (V) $208.99 0.78% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $164.34 0.60%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $57.02 -1.83% Intel Corp. (INTC) $51.75 -1.56% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $411.34 -1.18% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $160.71 -1.14% Walmart Inc. (WMT) $137.15 -1.01% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $397.35 -0.70% Nike Inc. (NKE) $170.25 -0.61% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $50.49 -0.59% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $55.00 -0.38% 3M Co. (MMM) $176.04 -0.29%

S&P 500 - Risers

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) $21.77 8.20% Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP) $24.50 5.83% Carnival Corp. (CCL) $19.52 5.51% Royal Caribbean Cr (RCL) $75.37 5.21% Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $12.73 4.52% United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL) $45.25 4.24% FMC Technologies Inc. (FTI) $6.62 3.93% Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $172.39 3.49% Biogen Inc (BIIB) $234.72 3.48% Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW) $119.46 3.41%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Kroger Co. (KR) $42.81 -5.01% Brown Forman Corp. Class B (BF.B) $70.49 -4.07% Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) $33.15 -3.94% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $105.70 -2.60% Target Corp. (TGT) $239.60 -2.45% Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (JEF) $38.58 -2.33% Packaging Corp. Amer (PKG) $132.23 -2.31% Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) $530.11 -2.20% State Street Corp. (STT) $92.91 -2.10% Macerich Co (MAC) $18.79 -2.08%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $172.39 3.49% Biogen Inc (BIIB) $234.72 3.48% Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $197.35 3.31% Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $654.04 2.98% Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG) $2,307.20 2.77% Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,210.40 2.73% Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $88.38 2.62% Meta Platforms Inc. (FB) $330.56 2.40% Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $364.36 2.29% Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) $82.71 2.29%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) $33.15 -3.94% Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $27.08 -2.83% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $105.70 -2.60% Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) $530.11 -2.20% T-Mobile Us, Inc. (TMUS) $114.75 -2.05% Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $318.26 -1.85% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $57.02 -1.83% Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP) $87.34 -1.74% Intel Corp. (INTC) $51.75 -1.56% NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $105.77 -1.46%
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