Markets Snap Three-day Losing Streak…..

U.S. equities finished with solid gains to pare some of a three-day slide that came courtesy of the omnipresent worries of the rapidly spreading omicron variant. President Biden spoke on COVID today, announcing plans to distribute free at-home COVID testing kits and dispatch 1,000 members of the military to support hospitals, while avoiding any mention of any lockdowns. In other drama on Capitol Hill, President Biden’s social spending and climate bill has ground to a halt after Democratic senator Joe Manchin indicated he won’t support the bill, but negotiations are expected to continue into the new year. On the equity front, Dow member Nike rose after posting solid quarterly results, and Micron Technology rallied following strong earnings and elevated demand for semiconductors globally. The economic calendar was dormant today but is set to heat up tomorrow. Treasuries were lower, lifting yields, and the U.S. dollar ticked to the downside, while crude oil rose, and gold fell. Markets in Europe and Asia also finished broadly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 561 points (1.6%) to 35,493, the S&P 500 Index rose 81 points (1.8%) to 4,649, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 360 points (2.4%) to 15,341. In heavy volume, 4.0 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 4.5 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil moved $2.51 higher to $71.12 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price lost $6.50 to $1,788.10 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.1% lower at 96.49.

Treasuries were lower amid a dormant economic docket, as the yield on the 2-year note was up 2 basis points (bps) to 0.65%, the yield on the 10-year note advanced 6 bps to 1.48%, and the 30-year bond rose 3 bps to 1.88%.

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