DJIA: 35,950.56, up 196.67
S&P 500: 4,725.79, up 29.23
Nasdaq: 15,653.38, up 131.49
S&P 500 reclaims record territory
U.S. stocks climbed for a third consecutive session on Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing at a fresh record high. The broad benchmark added 0.6%, capping a weekly gain of 2.3%. The Dow rose 196 points, bringing the blue chip index 1.7% higher on the week. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9%, ending the holiday-shortened week with a 3.2% rally.
Risk sentiment was buoyed as preliminary data from several studies showed the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant is less likely to lead to hospitalization. Additionally, Novavax Inc. became the latest COVID-19 vaccine maker to report the efficacy of its inoculation against the new strain. Treasuries declined amid the perceived risk on mood, with the yield on the 10-year note jumping four basis points (0.04%) to 1.49%. Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory, with Real Estate and Utilities the only laggards. In commodities, WTI crude rose 1.5% to $73.88/barrel, to cap a 4.2% weekly gain.
Investors also assessed a deluge of economic data ahead of the holiday break. An update showed personal spending advanced 0.6% in November, in-line with expectations and easing from the prior reading (+1.4%). The core PCE deflator (the Federal Reserve’s preferred proxy for inflation) surged a more-than-anticipated 4.7% year-over-year in November, accelerating from October’s upwardly revised 4.2% annual pace. Separately, initial jobless claims came in at 205,000 in the latest week, unchanged from the prior period. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s final December reading of consumer sentiment improved to 70.6, confirming a rebound from November’s decade low figure of 67.4.
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