The major averages rose for a third day on Thursday as investors looked past earlier jitters about the spread of the omicron COVID variant.
The Dow Jones Industrials advanced 196.67 points to close Thursday, the last session before Christmas, at 35,950.56. Gain on the week was 584 points, or 1.65%.
The S&P 500 index hiked 29.23 points to 4,725.79, at a new record, collecting 105 points on the week, or 2.3%.
The NASDAQ popped 131.48 points at 15,653.37, for a weekly gain of 484 points, or 3.19%.
Thursday’s gains were broad across the board, although on light volume. Bank shares were higher, along with Big Tech stocks Microsoft and Nvidia.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID pill, the first oral antiviral drug against the virus. The FDA also authorized Merck’s antiviral pill for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Reopening plays like airlines and cruise lines were some of the biggest winners this week during the comeback. Carnival Corp. rose 16% since Monday. Hilton Worldwide rallied 9.8% this week.
U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.
Economic data out Thursday morning down south showed a strong economy with improving labour and spending trends, but inflation at uncomfortable levels.
Jobless claims for the week ended December 18 came in about as expected at 205,000. Durable goods for November rose 2.5%, compared to the 1.5% Dow Jones estimate. Personal income and spending showed increases for November.
But on the inflation side, the Federal Reserve’s closely watched core personal consumption expenditures index rose 0.6% in November from the month prior. Core PCE rose 4.7% year-over-year in November, higher than the 4.5% rate expected.
Prices for 10-year were pitched lower, raising yields to 1.49% from Wednesday’s 1.46%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gained $1.05 to $73.81 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices brightened $7.50 to $1,809.70 U.S. an ounce.