Stocks Rise After 3-Day Slump Over Virus, Inflation Worries

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 22, 2021 Updated: December 22, 2021

Stocks are rising on Wall Street Tuesday after three days of losses brought on by worries over the spread of the omicron variant and lingering concerns about rising inflation.

The S&P 500 index rose 1.7 percent as of 2:51 p.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq rose 2.3 percent. Both indexes were boosted by solid gains for technology stocks. Micron Technology jumped 10.4 percent after the chipmaker gave investors an encouraging profit forecast.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 527 points, or 1.5 percent, to 35,459. Nike, one of the 30 stocks in the Dow, jumped 6.4 percent after turning in strong quarterly results.

Bank stocks got help from rising bond yields. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.49 percent from 1.42 percent late Monday. Citigroup gained 1.6 percent.

U.S. crude oil prices rose 3.8 percent and helped send energy stocks higher. Chevron rose 1.7 percent.

Small-company stocks rose more than the rest of the market, a signal that investors were feeling a bit more optimistic about the economy. The Russell 2000 rose 2.7 percent.

The gains follow several weak days for major indexes as investors assess the impact from skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 as the omicron variant spreads rapidly. Nations in Europe and Asia have implemented a variety of restrictions aimed at curtailing the spread and that has investors worried about the impact to the global economy.

The latest coronavirus wave adds to lingering worries about rising inflation’s impact on economic growth. Supply chain shortages and higher raw material costs have been hitting businesses, which have passed the higher costs off to consumers. U.S. consumer prices rose 6.8 percent in November from a year earlier, which marks the fastest rise in inflation in nearly four decades.

Rising inflation has also prompted the Federal Reserve to hasten its withdrawal of aid to the markets and economy and put interest rate increases on the radar for investors in 2022. The prospect of higher interest rates has added some choppiness to the broader market as investors shift money around, particularly from high-value technology stocks.

“We’re not out of the woods yet and we’re likely going to see more volatility through the end of the year,” said Megan Horneman, director of portfolio strategy at Verdence Capital Advisors.

By Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga