Cooler heads prevailed to start the new trading week, with stocks rebounding from Friday’s Omicron-linked sell-off.
While a more complete picture of the latest COVID-19 variant will likely take weeks to emerge, President Joe Biden said this afternoon that Omicron was “not a cause for panic.” Additionally, although several countries have put travel restrictions in place, the market is likely consoling itself for the lack of widespread bottlenecks, said Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange.
“In fact, stocks extended their gains this afternoon following President Biden’s comments that lockdowns were not on the table at this point,” he adds.
Indeed, after a slow start, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.7% higher at 35,135 and the S&P 500 Index added 1.3% to 4,655.
However, it was the NasdaqComposite which had the best performance of the day, gaining 1.9% to 15,782 amid the strength of mega-cap tech stocks You’re here (TSLA, + 5.1%) and Microsoft (MSFT, + 2.1%), as well as a strong recovery in semiconductors (+ 3.5%).
Other stock market news today:
- Small cap Russel 2000slipped 0.2% to 2,241.
- Gold Futuresslipped 0.2% to $ 1,785.20 an ounce.
- Bitcoinjumped 7.1% to $ 58,125.20. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices shown here are at 4 p.m.)
- Twitter(TWTR) shares initially rose after the company announced that founder and CEO Jack Dorsey would step down. He will be immediately replaced at the helm by Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal, who has been with the company for over a decade. “Dorsey’s confidence in Agrawal is one of the reasons Dorsey felt comfortable making this transition now,” said Scott Kessler, vice president and global head of investment research firm Third Bridge. Agrawal has worked with Twitter for over a decade and has been involved in the key decisions that led to the company’s turnaround. Salesforce.com (CRM) president and chief operating officer Bret Taylor will become chairman of the board of Twitter, and Dorsey will remain on the board until the 2022 shareholders meeting. However, TWTR has ended the day down 2.8%.
- Merck(MRK, -5.4%) collapsed on Monday following disappointing news released late last week that its antiviral drug, molnupiravir, only reduced the risk of hospitalization by 30% and death in patients at high risk of COVID-19; he had previously estimated at 50%. An FDA advisory group will meet tomorrow to determine whether it will recommend that the drug be approved. Also on Monday, Citi analysts downgraded MRK’s shares to Neutral from Buy, in part because they believe regulatory issues could prompt Merck to abandon clinical advances in the anti-HIV drug islatravir. “We expect the waning outlook for islatravir to further accelerate Merck’s business development efforts,” Citi said.
Keep an eye on the oil
U.S. crude futures closed 2.6% higher today to stand at $ 69.95 a barrel, but remain more than 17% below their late October highs, close to the $ 85 a barrel mark.
This was in part due to the beating on Friday, when futures fell more than 13% on fears the Omicron variant could affect global demand.
But Austin Pickle, an investment strategy analyst at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, also points to “market anticipation” ahead of last week’s announcement of several countries, including the United States and China, to exploit the reserves. strategic oil in a coordinated effort to ease pricing pressures as a catalyst for the recent sell-off.
And this week’s meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, at which the group may reconsider its current increase of 400,000 barrels per day, “will have obvious geopolitical and geopolitical implications for the price of oil. in the short term, ”Pickle said. Still, the analyst predicts “higher prices by the end of 2022”.
Not only would a continued rise in oil prices be good news for Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) which offer the added benefit of higher returns, but also for traditional energy stocks. Here is a list of 10 energy stocks that are among the highest rated on Wall Street that may be worth watching if oil prices prolong today’s surge.
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