Wall Street closed higher on Monday in cautious trading which helped major markets regain a little of the big losses in Friday’s Omicron sell-off.
Investor activity was more a holding action as they await more details on the nature of the new variant and its severity.
But the actual details told a slightly different story with those stocks that prospered during the first and second waves of the virus driving Nasdaq to solid gains on Monday.
Nasdaq closed up 1.88% well ahead of the 1.32% gain for the S&P500 and the 0.68% rise for the value-based Dow.
Higher volumes tan in Friday’s half day session also helped boost activity and gains, but the 2% plus slide on Friday was nowhere near covered on Monday as President Biden sought to reassure Americans and more and more cases were reported around the world – including in the US.
Of note was his ruling out of any lockdowns for the time being.
“If people are vaccinated and wear their masks, there’s no need for lockdowns,” Biden told a media conference. Biden also said there would be no new travel restrictions.
Mega-cap technology names were the winners on Monday. Tesla shares jumped 5.1% Microsoft shares were up 2.1%, Apple 2.2% and Amazon 2.1%.
Travel-related stocks posted a slight rebound after a choppy session. United Airlines edged up 0.7%, Royal Caribbean shares jumped 2.8%.
US 10-year Treasury bonds rose in yield to 1.5141%, from 1.485% on Friday. the Aussie dollar was steady around 71.35 US cents.
Europe’s STOXX 600 ended up 0.7%, its best day in a month but still well short of Friday’s 3.7%.
The ASX 200 had a 50-point gain slated for Tuesday’s restart, but that is a long way short of the 168-point fall combined, for Friday and Monday.
Oil regained the $US70 a barrel level for US West Texas Intermedia crude futures and was up more than 4% at one stage touching 72.93 a barrel. but it fell back to close at $US68.15 and was trading just above $US69 in early Asian dealings.
Traders are waiting to see the decision later this week from the OPEC+ group about adding another 400,000 barrels a day of crude output to global production by the group.
Traders though think the group won’t do anything and wait to see what the new variant of Covid means for demand, activity and its dangers.
Gold also dipped a couple of dollars an ounce to around $US1,781 in early Asia after settling at $US1,785.50 an ounce on Comex.