S&P 500 Reaches Record Highs Amid Easing Omicron Concerns

Stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Monday, adding to the strong gains posted last week. With the continued upward move, the S&P 500 reached a new record closing high.

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new highs going into the close of trading. The Dow jumped 351.82 points or 1 percent to 36,302.38, the Nasdaq spiked 217.89 points or 1.4 percent to 15,871.26 and the S&P 500 surged 65.40 points or 1.4 percent to 4,791.19.

The continued strength on Wall Street came amid easing concerns about the economic impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

While Omicron seems to be more transmissible, the new strain purportedly causes milder symptoms and could potentially accelerate the end of the pandemic.

Stocks may also have benefitted from so-called “window-dressing” going into the end of the year, with traders looking to boost the value of the portfolios.

Semiconductor stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2.7 percent to a new record closing high.

Significant strength was also visible among networking stocks, as reflected by the 2.4 percent jump by the NYSE Arca Networking Index. The index has also reached a new record closing high.

Energy, software and commercial real estate stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks moved mostly higher on the day. While the U.K. markets were closed for a holiday, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries showed a modest move to the upside amid light trading. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by 1.2 basis points to 1.481 percent.

Looking Ahead

Another quiet day on the U.S. economic front may keep traders on the sidelines on Tuesday, although recent upward momentum could continue to impact the markets.

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