US market weekly: S&P 500 ends all time high amid holiday season and weakened Omicron fears


US Stocks fell on Monday at the start of a holiday-shortened week, with investors considering renewed virus-related restrictions overseas and prospects that a significant social policy bill may be scuttled. The S&P 500, Dow Nasdaq each dropped by nearly 2% during intraday trading.

Markets rallied on Tuesday, closing higher in a major comeback from the biggest three-day drop since September 30. All three major indexes closed up more than 1% each, with the Dow gaining 1.6%, S&P 1.78% and Nasdaq 2.4%. The moves follow news of federal involvement to mitigate Omicron and imminent authorization of an at-home COVID-19 treatment.

Wall Street closed higher on Wednesday as strong economic data and development on COVID-19 treatment front superseded investors' concerns on the rapid spread of the Omicron. All three major stock indexes ended in positive territory.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Thursday in a pre-holiday rally along with the Dow and Nasdaq, aided by positive data that suggested the Omicron variant was less likely to lead to hospitalizations. U.S. consumer prices accelerated at the fastest pace in nearly four decades as shoppers confront rising inflation levels ahead of the holidays.

The markets were closed on Friday due to Christmas holidays. The S&P 500 posted a weekly gain of 2.3% and Nasdaq overperformed with a weekly gain of 3.2%. 

Weekly market stats with IND

Let’s see the major developments during the week:

Easing Omicron worries: The S&P 500 Index closed record high as fears seemed to abate about the new omicron variant. Investors seemed further reassured by President Biden’s assurances that there were no plans for “shutdowns or lockdowns”. The 7-day average has risen to 1.92 lakh cases in the US. Around 61.7% of the country is now fully vaccinated. The overall number of Covid cases stands around 52 million. 

Weekly Jobs Report: The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims totaled 2.05 lakh sustaining a downward trend from the highs of their pandemic peak and reflecting labor market tightness brought on by a demand for workers heading into the new year. The latest print brings the four-week moving average for new claims to its lowest in 52 years, ticking up by 2,750 week-over-week to reach 206,250.

Macroeconomic Update: Durable goods orders rose 2.5% in Nov, well above expectations and the best print since May. Measures of consumer attitudes also beat expectations, and surveys indicated that inflation expectations may have peaked alongside gas prices in Nov. Third-quarter U.S. GDP was adjusted modestly higher in the final reading by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. New home sales were the weak spot, coming in lower than expected in Nov, while Oct numbers were revised lower.

Oil Markets: Oil prices have recovered this week as fears over the impact of the highly infectious Omicron variant on the global economy receded. the market focusing on next steps by OPEC+ and the impact of the Omicron variant. The benchmark Brent was still on track for a weekly gain of about 4%.