US stocks trade mixed following massive rally on receding Omicron fears


Stock market Dow Jones trader New York
  • Major US stock benchmarks were mixed on Wednesday following a massive Tuesday rally.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech said data indicate a third dose of their vaccine neutralizes the Omicron coronavirus variant. 
  • The S&P 500’s rebound from the Omicron sell-off leaves the index up about 26% in 2021. 

US stocks were mixed on Wednesday after a big rally in the previous session as concerns about the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on the global economy ebbed. 

Stocks found some upside support with Pfizer and its partner BioNTech saying preliminary lab data show three doses of their COVID vaccine are effective at neutralizing the Omicron strain. The strain’s recent emergence triggered a selloff in stocks as health officials pointed out it was heavily mutated.

The Nasdaq Composite edged lower after a 3% rally on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 wavered at the open. 

The overall outlook for global equities is positive “with Omicron concerns almost entirely evaporating,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday:   

“With the Fed’s tapering and potential earlier rate hike also now firmly in the news, investors are able to look towards the future with a greater degree of confidence. At any rate, the rally that began last Friday seems set to continue, although the real ‘Santa rally’ should still kick in later in the month,” he said. 

The rebound in US stocks since Omicron was discovered has left the S&P 500 through Tuesday up by nearly 26% for the year.

Around the markets, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon doesn’t expect stocks to keep delivering the bumper returns investors have enjoyed in the last few years. 

Investment company First Trust filed for a metaverse-themed exchange-traded fund.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude picked up 0.1% to $72.09 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 0.5% at $75.81. 

Gold edged up less than 0.1% to $1,784.93 per ounce. The 10-year yield rose 2 basis points to 1.493%. 

Bitcoin fell 2.8% to $49,236.08 ahead of a hearing on the cryptocurrency market on Capitol Hill.