Dow climbs more than 600 points amid renewed stock volatility

The Dow (INDU) finished up 1.9%, or some 647 points, while the broader S&P 500 (SPX) climbed nearly 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP), which faced the steepest selloff Friday, continued to be the weakest index, closing up “only” 0.9%.

“We have quadruple expiration [of contracts] a week from Friday so we see those portfolios being changed around,” Kinahan told CNN Business. “And at the same time, it’s the end of the year. The Nasdaq had a good run and people are repositioning for 2022.”

The market has been in a state of constant volatility since the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus was identified at the end of November.

The variant is now dominating new infections in South Africa, and several European countries have reported spikes in Covid cases. Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said early data on the Omicron variant doesn’t suggest it causes severe illness.

The uncertainty surrounding Omicron and its infectiousness, along with the Federal Reserve’s plans to wrap up its pandemic-era stimulus program sooner than first expected, continue to be big themes for investors and potential negative catalysts for equities.
Stocks also pulled back Friday following a weaker-than-expected November jobs report.

Even though Monday is very quiet on the economic data front, there are various reports due this week that have the potential to move the market or change investors’ views of the recovery.

On Wednesday, a look at job openings in October will reveal how the worker shortage is progressing. And on Friday, November consumer price inflation will show whether price increases are getting worse.

Elsewhere, the price of Bitcoin has reversed again, slipping 0.2% around the time of the close and giving back an earlier gain, following a steep selloff at the end of last week.

In other asset classes, the 10-year US Treasury bond yield has climbed to 1.43% around the time of the close. The US dollar also rose against its major rivals, up 0.2% per the ICE US Dollar Index.

In commodities, US oil prices settled 4.9% higher at $69.49 per barrel.

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