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US stocks rebound as investors navigate Omicron threat and hawkish Fed comments

Markets Insider
Markets Insider
 2021-12-01

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  • US stocks rose Wednesday after a rout in the previous session snatched about 2% from the S&P 500.
  • Stocks found support from ADP data showing US companies added 534,000 jobs to the economy in November.
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

US stocks pushed higher Wednesday as data showed growth in hiring by US companies last month, after a rout in the previous session swiped nearly 2% off the S&P 500 index.

Wall Street's three marquee equity indexes climbed, with gains for Apple and Disney helping the Dow rebound from Tuesday's slide of 652 points. Stocks had sold off on worries that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus would derail the global economic recovery, while Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee the strain could increase uncertainty for inflation and suggested the central bank's tapering of bond buys could quicken.

"Powell pretty much said [the Fed] anticipates getting a bit more aggressive because inflation has been stubborn," Crit Thomas, global markets strategist at Touchstone Investments, told Insider.

Powell will return to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee.

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

Omicron fears eased with scientists at the University of Oxford saying Tuesday "there is no evidence so far" that the variant is resistant to the vaccines currently available. Earlier, Moderna's CEO warned vaccines could be less effective against it.

Meanwhile, ADP said early Wednesday private US employers added 534,000 jobs in November , a better reading than the 525,000 jobs expected in an Econoday survey of economists. The report arrived ahead of Friday's nonfarm payrolls report from the Labor Department.

"The market wants to see this continued [jobs] improvement but not too rapid of an improvement. It doesn't want to see things moving too fast because that moves up the timeline for when the Fed starts to raise rates," said Thomas.

"The market does want to see more jobs out there because that means there's more money in people's hands that can be spent in the economy. But we don't want to see the labor market get too tight and the unemployment rate to move down significantly — that would probably not be taken as well," he said.

Around the markets, Cathie Wood's Ark Invest bought about $49 million worth of Twitter shares on Tuesday, taking advantage of the stock's drop after Jack Dorsey said he would step down as CEO.

Legendary investor Ray Dalio warned investors against trying to time the market as it faces uncertainty about the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Gold rose 0.8% to $1,788 per ounce. The 10-year yield rose 3 basis points to 1.478%.

Oil prices jumped ahead of Wednesday's OPEC meeting. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 4.5% at $69.13 per barrel.

Bitcoin edged up 0.2% to $57,169.98.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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