Wall Street: Dow Jones and S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs.
The Dow Jones is now up six trading days in a row, the longest winning streak since the seven-session rally on March 5-15 this year.
Wall Street closed another day in which the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones hit another all-time high leveraged on a boost from retailers such as Walgreens and Nike as investors ignored concerns about the spread of the omicron variant.
According to preliminary closing data, the S&P 500 gained 6.59 points, or 0.14%, to 4,792.94 units, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 16.15 points, or 0.10%, to 15,765.57. Units. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90.95 points, or 0.25%, to 36,491.04.
The Dow Jones is now up six straight trading days, marking the longest winning streak since a seven-session rally from March 5-15 this year.
Walgreens Boots Alliance and Nike Inc advanced against the background of recent reports suggesting that holiday sales were strong for US retailers.
Investors have become more comfortable with the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the past two weeks. This fast-spreading virus appears to be less severe. It causes fewer deaths and hospitalizations than other versions of the virus.
Some early studies pointing to reduced risk of hospitalization in omicron cases have helped investors see beyond travel disruptions and propelled the S&P 500 to record highs this week.
There are still many doubts about the omicron, which is spreading rapidly and is causing the return to the restrictions of the pandemic in some places. However, this variant is fast becoming the dominant strain throughout the world.
Although virus-related closings and travel restrictions remain a significant concern, most large investors have closed their positions for 2021. They are likely to stay until next week.
This week's trading has been slow, with less than 3 billion shares changing hands on the New York Stock Exchange in the past two days, compared to the 4.5 billion shares typically bought and sold on a typical day.
As 2021 draws to a close, Wall Street's major stock indices are heading for their third straight year of great returns, fueled by historic fiscal and monetary stimulus. The S&P 500 is heading toward its best performance in three years since 1999.
Next year, the focus will shift to the Fed's interest rate hike path amid a surge in prices caused by supply chain bottlenecks and a robust economic rebound.