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S&P 500 Has Best Day in Seven Weeks    12/02 16:04

   A broad rally on Wall Street pushed stocks higher Thursday, giving the S&P 
500 its best day in seven weeks as the market recouped some of its losses after 
a several days of volatile trading.

   (AP) -- A broad rally on Wall Street pushed stocks higher Thursday, giving 
the S&P 500 its best day in seven weeks as the market recouped some of its 
losses after a several days of volatile trading.

   The benchmark index rose 1.4%, its biggest gain since mid-October. The Dow 
Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8%, its best showing since early March. The 
tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.8%, held back in part by a modest drop in Apple.

   Smaller company stocks, which have lost the most ground this week, outpaced 
the broader market, sending the Russell 2000 index 2.7% higher.

   The market rebound comes as investors try to gauge the amount of damage the 
omicron variant of COVID-19 might inflict on the economy, as well as measures 
that the U.S. and other governments are taking to restrain it. Trading has been 
choppy all week and, despite the latest gains, every major index is on track 
for a weekly loss.

   The heavy selling in recent days may have presented too tempting an 
opportunity for traders, said said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital 
Advisors.

   "It's bargain-hunting after an overreaction," Hatfield said. "Clearly the 
Fed and the variant are overhanging on the market, but the fundamentals are 
very strong and the Fed is still injecting liquidity into the market."

   The S&P 500 rose 64.06 points to 4,577.10. The index has been on a roller 
coaster ride throughout the week. It was up as much as 1.9% Wednesday before 
skidding and closing 1.2% lower.

   The Dow gained 617.75 points to 34,639.79. The Nasdaq added 127.27 points to 
15,381.32. The Russell 2000 picked up 58.91 points to 2,206.33.

   The latest coronavirus variant has led countries to impose barriers to 
travel and stricter restrictions on business and people. Concerns about global 
restrictions potentially crimping economic growth butted up against concerns 
about rising inflation this week. The persistence of rising inflation has 
prompted the Federal Reserve to consider withdrawing stimulus measures sooner 
than expected.

   Wall Street will likely remain jumpy until investors have more information 
on how contagious the new variant is and how well current vaccines will hold up 
against it.

   More than 90% of companies in the S&P 500 index rose Thursday. Banks and 
other financial companies accounted for a big slice of the gains. Bank of 
America rose 2.9% and American Express rose 4.5%.

   Technology companies also rose, but the gains were crimped by a 0.6% drop 
from Apple after the iPhone maker reportedly warned suppliers that it is seeing 
weak demand ahead of the holiday season.

   Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.44% from 1.43% 
late Wednesday.

   U.S. crude oil prices rose 1.4%. OPEC and allied oil-producing countries 
have decided to maintain the amount of oil they pump to the world even as the 
new omicron variant potentially threatens the economy. Energy companies gained 
ground. Chevron rose 2.7%.

   Travel-related companies, which got hammered earlier this week as worries 
about the new coronavirus variant swept markets, rebounded Thursday. American 
Airlines climbed 7%, while Delta Air Lines rose 9.3%. Cruise line operators 
Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line jumped 9.2% and 7.7%, respectively.

   Several companies made outsized gains on a mix of corporate news. 
Supermarket chain Kroger jumped 11% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after 
raising its profit forecast for the year. Software maker Synopsys gained 4.5% 
after also giving investors an encouraging profit forecast.

   Boeing rose 7.5% after China's aviation regulator cleared the airplane 
maker's 737 Max to return to flying with technical upgrades.

   Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing company Grab fell 20.5% in its market 
debut Thursday, following a $40 billion merger in a special purpose acquisition 
company deal.

 
 
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