U.S. stocks are up slightly Monday afternoon, the first trading session of the new year 2022, as optimism about growth outweigh concerns about a surge in Omicron variant of the coronavirus in several countries.
Activity, however, is somewhat subdued with investors looking ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December monetary policy meeting.
Among the major averages, the Dow and the S&P 500 are up marginally, with stocks swinging between gains and losses. The Nasdaq is notably higher thanks to strong buying at several tech counters.
The Dow is up 60.36 points or 0.17 percent at 36,398.45. The S&P 500 is up 8.89 points or 0.19 percent at 4,775.07, while the Nasdaq is higher by 109.56 points or 0.07 percent at 15,754.53.
Bank stocks are finding support after the yield on 10-year Treasury Note climbed to 1.6 percent. Bank of America shares gained more than 4 percent. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo surged up almost 6% following a rating upgrade from Barclays.
Despite the surge in coronavirus cases, shares of airline companies are climbing higher. American Airlines and United Airlines are up with impressive gains.
Tesla shares soared more than 10 percent, riding on an announcement from the company that it made 308,600 deliveries in the fourth quarter.
Shares of several automobile companies, including, Ford Motor and General Motors also up with strong gains.
Shares of Apple Inc. climbed nearly 3 percent, hitting a record high in the process.
In economic news, a report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. construction spending increased 0.4 percent in November amid strong gains in single-family homebuilding. However, outlays on public projects were weak.
Economists had expected construction spending to climb 0.6 percent. Construction spending increased 9.3% on a year-on-year basis in November.
Spending on private construction projects rose 0.6 percent in November. Outlays on residential construction surged 0.9 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.4 percent.
European stocks closed on a firm note. The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.45 percent. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.86 percent to close at a six-week high. France’s CAC surged up 0.9 percent, settling at a fresh record high, and Switzerland’s SMI gained 0.49 percent. Markets in the U.K. and Ireland were closed for New Year holiday.
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