After moving mostly higher early in the session, stocks have seen further upside over the course of the trading day on Monday. With the strong upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 have more than offset the drops seen last week.
Currently, the major averages are just off their highs of the session. The Dow is up 738.06 points or 2.1 percent at 35,318.14, the Nasdaq is up 168.77 points or 1.1 percent at 15,254.24 and the S&P 500 is up 68.27 points or 1.5 percent at 4,606.70.
The strength on Wall Street partly reflects 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 be 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 strong gains by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) American Express (AXP), Visa (V) and Intel (INTC).
Airline stocks remain sharply higher amid easing concerns about the Omicron variant, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 8 percent. The index continues to rebound after hitting its lowest levels in a year last week.
Substantial strength is also visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 4.7 percent spike by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.
The rally by oil service stocks comes as the price of crude oil for January delivery is surging $2.67 to $68.93 a barrel.
Banking stocks have also shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 2.8 percent.
Housing, brokerage and steel stocks are also seeing 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 have pulled back sharply after soaring in recent sessions. Susbequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 9 basis points at 1.433 percent.
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