U.S. stocks rose in thin trading as the slump in tech stocks abated amid speculation the economic recovery can weather the surge in coronavirus cases. Treasury yields rose across the board.

The S&P 500 appeared to be heading toward a record close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was also poised to end the day at an all-time high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 added 0.1 per cent. The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed to 1.55 per cent, the highest since November, while the dollar dropped.

Omicron fears are easing on growing evidence that the fast-spreading strain leads to milder symptoms, even as worldwide COVID-19 cases rose above 1 million for a second straight day. Coronavirus developments along with Federal Reserve policy tightening and China’s outlook rank among the key risks for 2022. 

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“We just might get a relatively calm last week of the year after all,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. wrote. “That said, thin markets can change on a dime, so investors will want to stay nimble.”

The 10-year Treasury yield rose as much as 7.4 basis points to 1.55 per cent, breaching the 50-day moving average that has contained it since Nov. 29. The dollar fell against all of its Group-of-10 peers except the yen. Bitcoin stayed below US$48,000 after a tumble that hinted at diminished ardor for the most speculative assets.

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“I think the economy is going to be very strong, I think the Fed will continue its policy of keeping rates very low, disappointing aggressive people,” Margie Patel, senior portfolio manager at Allspring Global Investments, said on Bloomberg TV. “And I think the stock market may well surprise on the upside and have another very, very good year after a very good year in ‘21.”

What to watch this week:

  • U.S. initial jobless claims, Thursday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • The S&P 500 rose 0.3 per cent as of 3:40 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.1 per cent
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent
  • The MSCI World index rose 0.1 per cent


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2 per cent
  • The euro rose 0.3 per cent to US$1.1344
  • The British pound rose 0.4 per cent to US$1.3484
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.1 per cent to 114.94 per dollar


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced six basis points to 1.54 per cent
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced five basis points to -0.18 per cent
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced nine basis points to 1.01 per cent


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7 per cent to US$76.49 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 0.3 per cent to US$1,805 an ounce