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Wall St closes higher as vaccine update feeds optimism

Stock MarketsDec 08, 2021 06:37PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wears a protective mask as he walks past the New York Stock Exchange on the corner of Wall and Broad streets during the coronavirus outbreak in New York City, New York, U.S., March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo 2/2

By Caroline Valetkevitch and Sinéad Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street closed slightly higher on Wednesday with the three major indexes managing their third straight day of gains after test data showed the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech offered some protection against the new Omicron variant.

Pfizer and BioNTech said their three-shot course of the vaccine was able to neutralize the Omicron variant in a laboratory test and they could deliver an upgraded vaccine in March 2022 if needed.

Investors reacted by piling into travel related stocks. The S&P 1500 Airlines index closed up 1.96%. Its session high was the highest since Nov. 24, which was just before news of the variant emerged.

Markets have been hugely volatile since the variant was discovered, with investors worried Omicron could force new restrictions in countries and hurt the global recovery.

In a bid to slow its spread, Britain said Wednesday it could implement tougher measures, including advice to work from home, as early as Thursday.

While Pfizer said Omicron protection was reduced among people who took just two doses of the vaccine, investors were still somewhat reassured.

With Nasdaq outperforming the Dow, Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Investment Management in Chicago described the session as a "perfect risk-on kind of day."

"A lot is revolving around virus news. It's a reopening trade more than anything else," said Nolte.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35.32 points, or 0.1%, to 35,754.75, the S&P 500 gained 14.46 points, or 0.31%, to 4,701.21 and the Nasdaq Composite added 100.07 points, or 0.64%, to 15,786.99.

The S&P finished less than a point below where it closed before a steep sell-off. The index fell as much as 4.4% between Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving, and Friday, as investors fled risky bets due to Omicron fears and concerns about rising interest rates after a Federal Reserve update last week.

"Equity investors are buying into the thesis that rates won't have to go up very much to tame inflation. It makes them more comfortable buying stocks although more inclined to buy quality growth stocks than cyclicals," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management in Chicago.

Sector gains were led by communication services, which rose 0.75% followed closely by healthcare, up 0.74%. With only three of the 11 major S&P sectors losing ground on the day, the laggards were financials, down 0.46%, consumer staples, down 0.37% and utilities, which edged down 0.1%.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said governments should urgently reassess their national responses to COVID-19 and accelerate their vaccination programs.

So-called reopening stocks, most affected by the pandemic's lockdowns, were among the S&P's top gainers on Wednesday. These included Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH), up 8%, Carnival (NYSE:CUK) Corp, up 5.5% and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL), up 5.2%.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co rose 2.6% after Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold".

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) advanced 3.3% after Sweden's Securitas agreed to buy its electronic security solutions business for $3.2 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.68-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.93-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 36 new highs and 39 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges 10.3 billion shares changed hands compared with the 11.52 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

Wall St closes higher as vaccine update feeds optimism
 

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Comments (31)
Alejandro Ca
Alejandro Ca Dec 09, 2021 9:32AM ET
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Good news - Commenters here: Fraud, market crashing, the world is ending Bad news - commenters here: Fraud, market crashing, the world is ending. Life is short people, go outside and spend time with family and friends.
Paul Richard
Paul Richard Dec 08, 2021 4:55PM ET
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crash is happening, sp500 up only 0.3% today, target was 0.45% gain. take your profits before this crash continues.
DrFunkenstein hayson
DrFunkenstein hayson Dec 08, 2021 4:37PM ET
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another fraud scam. means another chance for the bankers to use this as an excuse and govts. more billions of tax payer money for corrupt pharmaceutical companies
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 08, 2021 3:05PM ET
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Another miracle "in late trade" for the biggest investment JOKE in history, as the flagrant manipulation continues, and Wall Street laughs in the face of America once again.
Paul Richard
Paul Richard Dec 08, 2021 3:05PM ET
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I love a good joke, loving this market. sucks to be you I guess.
William Bailey
William Bailey Dec 08, 2021 2:25PM ET
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Scam . Omicron my *****
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 08, 2021 2:22PM ET
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NASDAQ maintains its position as the most criminally manipulated, grossly overvalued stock market index in history.
Matt Novakovich
Matt Novakovich Dec 08, 2021 1:51PM ET
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if you've had the covid test you're a simp
dog log
dog log Dec 08, 2021 1:51PM ET
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subhuman takes i hope you die.
Matt Novakovich
Matt Novakovich Dec 08, 2021 1:51PM ET
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50,000,000 abortions. Vaccine is not about helping life
Allatra Yiveh
AllatraYiveh Dec 08, 2021 1:48PM ET
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No, there is almost no effect on Omicon in stock. The stock mixed because the FED is not pumping much today. Period.
Zebra Lo
Zebra Lo Dec 08, 2021 1:35PM ET
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Yesterday these guys were all bull about virus easing, today all of a sudden virus concerns back. Market manipulators, greedy wall street…
Ron Love
Ron Love Dec 08, 2021 1:35PM ET
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They have no idea what they’re talking about.
Zebra Lo
Zebra Lo Dec 08, 2021 1:35PM ET
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Yesterday these guys were all bull about virus easing, today all of a sudden virus concerns back. Market manipulators, greedy wall street…
Zebra Lo
Zebra Lo Dec 08, 2021 1:35PM ET
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Yesterday these guys were all bull about virus easing, today all of a sudden virus concerns back. Market manipulators, greedy wall street…
Zebra Lo
Zebra Lo Dec 08, 2021 1:28PM ET
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Yesterday these guys were all bull about virus easing, today all of a sudden virus concerns back. Market manipulators, greedy wall street…
Matias Marquez
Matias Marquez Dec 08, 2021 1:02PM ET
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omicron= a Big Game for hunt more Bears. and take rally of christmas
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Dec 08, 2021 1:02PM ET
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oh ok then
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 08, 2021 12:58PM ET
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11AM sharp, and like hundreds of losses before it, the S&P miraculously rises into the green.  Remarkable how the laughingstock of the financial world doesn't give up its "gains" at 11AM.  Biggest investment JOKE in world history.
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Dec 08, 2021 12:58PM ET
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why are you using an app called investing then?
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 08, 2021 11:58AM ET
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jolts is high ATHinflation is at the 80s level and risingmetals energy raw materials at ATH prices why? the FED must END purchases and Raise Rates
Pratt Man
Pratt Man Dec 08, 2021 11:58AM ET
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those are all commodities... prices will fluctuate and producers will produce more thus driving prices down.
Jack Zydron
Jack Zydron Dec 08, 2021 11:52AM ET
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Mild cases, sore throats and headaches. Daily deaths at the lowest ever. have we lost our sanity. this will explode in next days. all in green!!!
Mr Valdas
Mr Valdas Dec 08, 2021 11:52AM ET
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do you indeed think of Covid as the main trigger? come on.. it is nothing comparing to inflation , oil prices and debts.
Critical Riff
Critical Riff Dec 08, 2021 11:52AM ET
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It's amazing. It's as if we never had lockdowns, crippled business conditions, debt to back the economy, free money. This market is an absolute joke.
King Agamemnon
King_Agamemnon Dec 08, 2021 11:45AM ET
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watching these headlines explanations switch from day to day in an attempt to explain market movement is hilarious. S&P up over 100 points yesterday on fading covid fears. Today the rally stalls out on covid fears. These writers probably never even traded a share in their life.
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Dec 08, 2021 11:45AM ET
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They have to make it appear that markets are real and move on news not FED pumps
Ricardo Diogo
Rcd72 Dec 08, 2021 11:45AM ET
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FED pumps and pumps such a waste!!!!
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Dec 08, 2021 11:41AM ET
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remember how Trump supposedly manipulated markets with China Trade tweets...same thing by Dem MSM now. Except the are fearing with the promise of death or suffering.
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Dec 08, 2021 11:32AM ET
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Meanwhile the market is just taking a breathe with after yesterday's run-up.
jj mm
jj mm Dec 08, 2021 11:04AM ET
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3.500.000.000 people have to die apparently to reduce population
tarun dutt
tarun dutt Dec 08, 2021 11:04AM ET
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Lead us be the first
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Dec 08, 2021 11:03AM ET
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I think all this covid oppression is liberal leadership trying hang onto their power. They all get lovely perks by courting big corporations & big associations. They little guy (most of the people on earth), just get diddled by liberal leadership. But, don't they pretend to care about us, while they diddle us?
Todd Gray
Todd Gray Dec 08, 2021 10:58AM ET
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Liberal control has gotta go,... if you love freedom & liberty. If not, they'll have us all dancing to brand new baloney every few weeks, so they can justify more taxation to pay for more of what the country never could afford, and blind us with sideshow issues so we don't step up and do something about it. With unfunded obligations, the USA's in debt about 190 trillion. And, there isn't 190 trillion of goods for sale in all the stores on earth.US governments paying a 10 million dollar mortgage, on a $42,000 salary. That's pretty stupid leadership. And, they just want to spend more.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Dec 08, 2021 10:55AM ET
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Struggled for direction? +/-0.1% isn't that weird, is it? Can't go up 1% every day/week all the time. Jeez....
Be Nguyen
Be Nguyen Dec 08, 2021 10:49AM ET
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haiz.....forever
 
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