S&P 500 hits record close as Omicron fears ebb

Major indexes climb for 3rd straight session

Wall Street’s main indexes posted solid gains for a third straight session on Thursday, with the S&P 500 marking a record-high close, as encouraging developments gave investors more ease about the economic impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Stocks ended the holiday-shortened week on a positive note, lifting sentiment heading into Christmas. Gains were broad among S&P 500 sectors, led by consumer discretionary (.SPLRCD) and industrials (.SPLRCI), which both rose about 1.2%.

Vaccine makers AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) and Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) said their shots protected against Omicron as UK data suggested it may cause proportionally fewer hospital cases than the Delta variant, though public health experts warned the battle against COVID-19 was far from over.

The arrival of Omicron has helped ratchet up market volatility for much of the last month of 2021, which has been a strong year for equities.

https://www.reuters.com/