Dow jumps 617 points as omicron fears ease

Weekly jobless claims ticked up to 220,000

U.S. stocks rallied Thursday as investor concerns over the omicron variant eased even after the first U.S. case was disclosed by the CDC. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 617 points or 1.8% putting it on pace for the best session of the year. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose by 1.4% and 0.83%, respectively.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34160.78 -7.31 -0.02%
SP500 S&P 500 4326.51 -23.42 -0.54%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13352.783008 -189.34 -1.40%

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Oil, which entered a bear market, also rose 1.4% to the $66 per barrel level as OPEC decided to maintain the amount of oil they pump to the world even as the new omicron variant casts a shadow of uncertainty over the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

KROGER RAISES PRICES AS INFLATION HEATS UP

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 61.86 +0.18 +0.29%

In economic news, the second labor-related report of the week showed an uptick in unemployment benefits for last week rising by 220,000, up from the previous week’s total of 199,000, which marked a 52-year low. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, dropped to 1.95 million from 2 million the prior week. 

US ADDS MORE THAN HALF A MILLION JOBS – DESPITE WORKER SHORTAGES

On Friday, the November jobs report is expected to show the U.S. economy added 550,000 new nonfarm jobs last month, slightly above October’s stronger-than-expected tally of 531,000. The unemployment rate is anticipated to fall 0.1 percentage point to 4.5%.

Nvidia shares rose even as the Federal Trade Commission said it will move to block its $40 billion acquisition of Arm Holdings. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NVDA NVIDIA CORP. 219.44 -8.28 -3.64%

Kroger shares jumped after the grocer boosted its full-year forecast helped in part by consumers who continue to eat at home. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
KR THE KROGER CO. 45.40 +1.02 +2.30%

Boeing shares rose after China cleared the Boeing 737 Max on Thursday to return to flying with technical upgrades more than two years after the plane was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 189.91 -4.30 -2.21%

China is the last major market where the Boeing 737 Max was awaiting approval after the United States allowed flights to resume in December 2020 and European Union regulators gave permission in January. Brazil and Canada also have given approval.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 159.22 -0.47 -0.29%

Apple shares slipped after seeing several days of gains even amid down market days. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 19.54 -0.35 -1.78%

Ford rose after reporting a 5.9% jump in November sales. 

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FOX Business' Ken Marin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.