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Wall Street rebounds after virus-related sell-off

Stock MarketsNov 29, 2021 06:32PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo 2/2

By Sinéad Carew and Kevin Buckland

(Reuters) - Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday, regaining some of the ground they lost in Friday's sell-off, as investors were hopeful that the Omicron coronavirus variant would not lead to lockdowns after reassurance from U.S. President Joe Biden.

The Nasdaq led gains among the major averages with help from the technology sector, while the S&P and the Dow advanced after suffering their biggest one-day percentage declines in months in Friday's holiday-shortened session as investors worried that the latest COVID-19 variant would cause economic disruption.

Biden said on Monday that Omicron-related lockdowns were off the table for now and he urged Americans not to panic about the variant. However, he did recommend vaccination and mask wearing indoors to combat the virus and said the United States was working with pharmaceutical companies to make contingency plans if new vaccines were needed.

Those comments and indications from drug companies that they are taking the variant seriously were reassuring for investors, who had been anxious about the potential for further COVID restrictions.

"Friday was a major de-risking event. You had the market go back to its worst fears of COVID spreading and the return of lockdowns," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"Now you're starting to see there is some optimism when you listen to the President, when you listen to the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) CEO. The Omicron panic is easing, and we're into a period of wait and see."

Vaccine makers such as Pfizer, its partner BioNTech and their rivals Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) said Monday they are working on vaccines that specifically target Omicron in case existing shots are not effective against the variant. nFWN2SK0VH]

"It's not like the start of the pandemic all over again," said Carol Schleif, deputy chief investment officer for the BMO family office in Minneapolis who also noted that after Friday's knee-jerk reaction, investors have been trained this year to buy the dip. "People are willing to just take a deep breath and try to reassess, be a little more patient."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 236.6 points, or 0.68%, to 35,135.94, the S&P 500 gained 60.65 points, or 1.32%, to 4,655.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 291.18 points, or 1.88%, to 15,782.83.

Among the S&P's 11 major sectors, technology was the leading percentage gainer, up 2.6%, followed by the consumer discretionary sector, which closed up 1.6%, with boosts from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc.

Other big boosts from single stocks in the S&P came from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which gained ground after HSBC raised its price target for the iPhone maker.

While the Dow advanced, it underperformed its peers with pressure from Merck & Co Inc, which closed down 5.4%. The drugmaker extended losses from Friday when updated data from a study of its experimental COVID-19 pill showed lower efficacy in reducing risk of hospitalization and deaths than previously reported.

Britain said it would offer a COVID-19 booster vaccine to all adults and give second doses to children aged between 12 and 15, in light of concern about the spread of the Omicron variant. It also said Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were the preferred boosters.

After the U.S. market close, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said everyone aged 18 years and older should get boosters six months after Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines or two months after a Johnson & Johnson shot.

Moderna rose 11.8% on the day, while Pfizer fell almost 3% and Johnson & Johnson rose 0.34%.

The Philadelphia semiconductor index outperformed the broader market with a 4% gain as chipstocks rose broadly. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) provided the biggest boost with a 5.9% gain.

Tesla's shares gained 5% after a report that chief Elon Musk urged employees to reduce the cost of vehicle deliveries.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) closed down 2.7%, reversing early gains after the social media firm said CEO Jack Dorsey will step down and be succeeded by Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal. Dorsey had been in the unusual position of having the CEO job at two major technology companies, the second being digital payments firm Square Inc (NYSE:SQ).

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.31-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.35-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 39 new highs and 344 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges, 11.13 billion shares changed hands on Monday compared with the 10.84 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

Wall Street rebounds after virus-related sell-off
 

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Comments (14)
Joe Wiggs
Joe Wiggs Nov 30, 2021 3:56PM ET
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“We tend to use [the word transitory] to mean that it won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Tuesday. “I think it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain more clearly what we mean.” Powell acknowledged that the “risk of higher inflation has increased,” “We now look at an economy that is very strong and inflationary pressures that are very high and that means it's appropriate for us to discuss at our next meeting — which is in a couple weeks — whether it would be appropriate to wrap up our purchases a few months early,” Powell said.
Fong SH
Fong SH Nov 29, 2021 9:56PM ET
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Yes, all these analysts are writing these reports without conceince in their hearts, one day they saying the virus is deadly, will stalled world's economies. Another day after the sell off, they're saying it's safe now, nothing that serious. Do you have a human heart for the man on the streets? You should be telling us what is the progress in developments of new vaccines and not talking about profits and losses of financial markets. Get a life, be humane.
TheLast LoserDon
TheLast LoserDon Nov 29, 2021 3:25PM ET
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Thanks to all those that believe Covid to be a hoax or over-hyped or not that deadly. Sure helps the market recover from the "bad news". Thanks again for helping out this small market player.
ali ch
ali ch Nov 29, 2021 3:25PM ET
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hello
Aleksandr Radchenko
Aleksandr Radchenko Nov 29, 2021 3:25PM ET
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my colleague also thinks that this is a hoax. he is now lying in the ground in the cemetery and says hello to you.
AY Haych
AY Haych Nov 29, 2021 3:15PM ET
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Aliens could invade earth and it would be bullish
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Nov 29, 2021 2:14PM ET
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Good thing Wall St is not relying on small/medium sized business (i.e. the backbone of the economy) to lift markets. One-sided farce that serves only Wall St money grubbers who don't give a hoot about Main St
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Nov 29, 2021 2:04PM ET
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Another miracle for the laughingstock of the financial world, as the entire NASDAQ loss magically vanishes into thin air.  And the DOW is criminally inflated 300+ points, beginning at the mystical hour of 11AM, where "buyers" miraculously crawl out of the woodwork.  The comedy is never-ending in the biggest investment JOKE in history.  Assume the proper position America.
Erski Gumby
SB20 Nov 29, 2021 2:04PM ET
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What are you complaining about?
kangroo kiloo
kangroo kiloo Nov 29, 2021 12:49PM ET
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i think new virus is a hoax to get people booster shots and mrna and pfizer company can make profit.
Ac Tektrader
Ac Tektrader Nov 29, 2021 12:49PM ET
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kangaroo, then you won't need to be vaccinated... thinning the herd by 20% to 30% is going to be easily than I thought.
Aleksandr Radchenko
Aleksandr Radchenko Nov 29, 2021 12:49PM ET
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hunger is cheating to get you to buy food. then food producers can make a profit. Home sellers lie even more. they trick you into buying houses, while other animals do not buy houses and live well.
Aconomics adub
Aconomics adub Nov 29, 2021 12:49PM ET
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What a fraud the markets has become
Devin Nathaniel
Devin Nathaniel Nov 29, 2021 12:40PM ET
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exactly like what i say two days ago
Rc Cf
Rc Cf Nov 29, 2021 12:40PM ET
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What did you say
Ameira AlYami
Ameira AlYami Nov 29, 2021 12:40PM ET
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What did you say ?!
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Nov 29, 2021 12:30PM ET
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bargain?
Larry DeAngelis
Larry DeAngelis Nov 29, 2021 12:20PM ET
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The 1 Day omicron rout! such BS
Itumeleng Molora
Itumeleng Molora Nov 29, 2021 12:20PM ET
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Lol exactly. Like that was just profit taking on a major scale.
jake goldstein
jake goldstein Nov 29, 2021 12:02PM ET
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Beyond any belief.Ultra overpriced tech market.
Patricia King
Patricia King Nov 29, 2021 9:36AM ET
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Whales gonna buy even more crypto now
ishak ahmad
ishak ahmad Nov 29, 2021 9:19AM ET
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Whale scheduled dumping time and blame it on Omnicron.
 
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