US equities rebounded sharply on Tue, following three straights sessions of declines caused by fears about the fast-spreading Covid omicron variant. There was no specific news that caused the stock market to turnaround. Perhaps it was Santa, beginning to work some Christmas magic on Wall Street.
Omicron has become the dominant strain in the US faster than expected. It accounts for nearly three-quarters of all new cases. However, according to the BBC, only one death in the US has been linked to the new variant: a 50-year-old from Texas, who had an underlying health condition and was unvaccinated.
On Tues, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 560.54 pts, or 1.6%, to close at 35,492.70. The broader S&P 500 index rose 1.78%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.4%. The small cap Russell 2000 climbed 2.95%.
Nike’s (NKE US, +6.15%) business in China plummeted last quarter, but growth in the US saved its results, boosting the shares.
Shares of semiconductor companies rose after Micron (MU US, +10.54%), the biggest US maker of memory chips, gave an outlook that is seen as strong.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note notched up 3.92 basis points (bps) to 1.4617%. The yield of the German 10-year bund rose to -0.30%, its least negative level post omicron.
The most actively traded US gold futures (Feb) contract settled down $5.90, or 0.3%, at US$1,788.70/oz. March silver, which is the most actively traded silver futures, rose 23.8 cents, or 1.1%, to end at US$22.529/oz.
The ICE dollar index (DXY), which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.06% to 96.491.
The front-month Brent and WTI futures closed up $2.46 at US$73.98/bbl and $2.89 at US$71.12/bbl respectively.
European equity markets finished higher on Tue. The UK FTSE gained 1.38%, France's CAC 40 rose 1.38%, while the German DAX advanced 1.36%.