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Another Big Day for the Markets: Nasdaq +3%

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Market indexes continue to dig out from recent lows sustained the day after Thanksgiving — two weeks ago this Friday — and through much of last week. Further evidence on the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus is that, while highly transmissible, is no more serious a strain than the Delta variant — and perhaps even less so. Meanwhile, late Q4 shopping season is in full gear, which is traditionally a strong environment for stocks.

Thus, the Dow was up another +1.40% in Tuesday trading, up +492 points. The S&P 500 did one better, posting gains of +2.07%, +95 points, while the Nasdaq took the day once again: +3.03%, +461 points, even though it is the only major index to still be trading down over the last five sessions. The Russell 2000 grew +1.95% on the day; the small-cap index is still down -7.8% over the last month. Leading the way from this time last month is the S&P 500, just -0.32% from this time in November.

These indexes still look good for 2021 overall: led by the S&P +26.65% since the first of the year, and directly between the full-year performance numbers of +31.5% in 2019 and +18.4% last year. This is followed by the tech-heavy Nasdaq, +23.5%, and the +18.2% accrued on the Dow year to date. The Russell remains the laggard, +15.8% from the earliest trading days of 2021.

It made sense that investors, upon the discovery of the new Omicron variant in South Africa a couple weeks back, did not want to be caught holding onto record-high indexes with a new Covid strain that may have been worse than even the deadly Delta variant. But once trading firms recognized they were in oversold territory — and the initial data on Omicron wasn’t as bad as feared — market participants have bought back in in a hurry. It’s not your typical Santa Claus Rally, but we’ll take it.

We’re quiet on the economic and earnings front as well, this week. Some data on Job Openings (and Job Quits) come out tomorrow morning after the opening bell, and GameStop (GME - Free Report) reports Q3 earnings after Wednesday’s close. The “meme stock” poster child is up +930% year to date, including another +6.4% in Tuesday’s regular session. The Zacks consensus expects -22 cents per share reported on $1.3 billion in quarterly sales. These figures would represent year-over-year gains of +58.5% and +29.7%, respectively.

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