Travel-Related Firms Gain More Ground

Indexes closed higher after day of choppy trading
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2021 3:54 PM CST
Stocks End Higher After Choppy Trading
A sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

Stocks ended modestly higher on Wall Street Wednesday after a day of choppy trading. The muted trading for the benchmark S&P 500 index follows a strong start to the week that included its biggest gain since March. The rally also nearly erased its losses from the last two weeks. The S&P 500 rose 14.46 points, or 0.3%, to 4,701.21. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35.32 points, or 0.1%, to 35,754.75. The Nasdaq rose 100.07 points, or 0.6%, to 15,786.99. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies outpaced the rest of the market, rising 17.92 points, or 0.8%, to 2,271.71. US crude oil prices rose, but energy stocks remained mixed.

A wide range of travel-related companies gained ground in a sign that investors are confident that the industry will continue its recovery despite the threat from the omicron variant of COVID-19, the AP reports. Booking Holdings rose 2.8%, Wynn Resorts rose 2.2% and Carnival rose 5.5%. Communications and health care stocks also made solid gains, the AP reports. Facebook parent Meta Platforms rose 2.4% and Twitter rose 2.8%. Markets in Europe fell. Germany’s Dax shed 0.8% as Germany’s parliament elected Olaf Scholz as the country’s ninth post-World War II chancellor, opening a new era for the European Union’s largest economy after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure.

Stocks have been mostly making gains since Monday following comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, who said early indications suggested that omicron may be less dangerous than the delta variant. "The generally more confident tone is a function of omicron news," says Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "Regardless of what’s happening, it's still amazing to see all the flip-flopping happening at the sector level."

(Read more stock market stories.)

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