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Global stocks rise sharply with investors' renewed risk appetite; oil settles up

Stock Markets Dec 21, 2021 06:05PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective masks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, are reflected on an electronic board displaying Japan's stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon 2/2
 
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By Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street closed significantly higher on Tuesday after a bruising session the prior day, with oil prices also gaining as investors sought riskier assets despite surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant around the world.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would be taking steps to fight the Omicron variant, by opening federal testing sites in New York City and buying 500 million at-home tests Americans can order online for free. Israel is set to offer a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccination to people over 60 years old.

World shares had fallen earlier in the week after Omicron infections multiplied around the world, but strong corporate earnings and reports that Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc's COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against the variant gave investors hope on Tuesday. U.S. stocks had also taken a hit after Biden's $1.75 trillion spending bill was dealt a potentially fatal blow on Sunday.

"We think this was kind of overdue over the past couple of weeks. We're kind of set up for a rally in time for Santa Claus, which officially begins next Monday," said Scott Brown, technical market strategist at LPL Financial (NASDAQ:LPLA), explaining that a so-called Santa Claus rally can happen in the last five trading days of the year and first two of the new year.

"We think we've had a little bit of a washout. We saw a lot of fear rush into the market."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.6% to 35,492.7, and the S&P 500 gained 1.78% to 4,649.23. The Nasdaq Composite added 2.4% to close at 15,341.09.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.61%.

Oil prices settled up more than 3% despite signs of improving supply and concerns the spread of Omicron would curb travel and crimp demand for fuel. [O/R]

Brent crude settled up $2.46, or 3.4%, at $73.98 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $2.51, or 3.7%, to $71.12 a barrel.

The United States is considering cutting quarantine time for people with COVID-19. The CEO of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slash quarantine time to five days from 10.

A somber U.S. trading session on Monday underscored market fears that rapidly rising cases of the coronavirus variant would yet again force governments around the world to impose lockdown measures, potentially choking off fragile economic recoveries from similar measures earlier in the year.

Still, investors on Tuesday were cautiously optimistic that the economic hit would be less severe this time, as they bought stocks and sold perceived safe-haven currencies such as the dollar and Japanese yen.

The U.S. Dollar Currency Index fell slightly as investors ploughed money into riskier currencies.

The yen, considered a safe-haven asset, was flat versus the greenback at 114.08 per dollar.

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday as traders set their sights on optimistic economic conditions, and brushed aside inflation fears at a 20-year bond auction.

Elsewhere, cryptocurrencies - which often offer a reliable gauge to risk sentiment - gained ground. Bitcoin added more than 4% after trending lower in recent weeks.

Global stocks rise sharply with investors' renewed risk appetite; oil settles up
 

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Comments (8)
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Dec 21, 2021 2:01PM ET
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everything is awesome
Pwr Strk
Pwr Strk Dec 21, 2021 4:48AM ET
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Reuters changes the story every 4 hours
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Dec 21, 2021 2:11AM ET
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desperate christmas rally
Philip Bolin
Philip Bolin Dec 21, 2021 1:46AM ET
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Nobody cares about the phony scarient
lokesh bothra
lokesh bothra Dec 21, 2021 1:40AM ET
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omicron is not at all risk keep buying actually all shares are in good discount ,in india schools have been opened and everyone go to their firms to work
Peter O Neill
Peter O Neill Dec 21, 2021 1:40AM ET
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Can you name me a single share which is discounted from its true value????? any I know are 35-40% overvalued versus their long term forward lookin PE ratio averages
Critical Riff
Critical Riff Dec 21, 2021 1:40AM ET
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I wouldn't place a serious long-term buy until it's like at least 50%, ideally lower
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Dec 21, 2021 1:08AM ET
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your right Lessko more people have died this year.not because the democratic party or the President has done, but because of the confusion spread by antivaccer propaganda with their half truthes, misinformation and lies.. . more people, the unvaccinated, are now starting to die from this new variant. the antivaccers helped create this mess, now they and their unfortunate families will pay the price.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Dec 21, 2021 12:46AM ET
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more half truthes and misinformation from our resident rabid antivaccer and professional propagandist, Lessko. people all unvaccinated, are starting to die from this new variant. the antivaccers helped create this mess, now they and their unfortunate families will pay the price.
djavid hosseini
djavid hosseini Dec 20, 2021 11:32PM ET
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What risks?
 
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