Dec. 22 (UPI) — U.S. markets continued to rebound Wednesday amid positive consumer data and less concern among investors over the effects of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 261.19 points, or 0.74%, while the S&P 500 rose 1.02% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day up 1.18%.
The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported that the U.S. economy grew 2.3% in the third quarter, down more than 4 points from second-quarter growth of 6.7%, but revised from a previous estimate of 2.1%.
Shares of Caterpillar, considered a bellwether for domestic and global economies, rose 1.94% after Berenstein said it will be a key beneficiary of a bounce-back in global growth.
Tesla shares rose 7.49% after CEO Elon Musk said he had completed his goal to sell 10% of his shares for tax reasons.
Pfizer stock also gained 1.04% after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to its antiviral pill, Paxlovid which has shown in clinical trials to dramatically reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and deaths in COVID-19 patients.
Markets took a dip earlier in the week as COVID-19 cases in the United States began to rise, particularly as the Omicron variant began to spread and quickly became the dominant strain in the country.
The concerns turned the usually calm trading month of December into one with a much greater amount of turbulence than investors are used to, with some anticipating the trend could continue moving forward.
“I think you are naturally getting a little bit of this bounce after we’ve had a couple choppy sessions. But also the market is trying to do price and digest the new information we’re getting here,” Anna Han, Wells Fargo securities equity strategist, told Yahoo Finance. “We had some news on Build Back Better getting delayd, we have mor information on Omicron. These are the things you’re seeing combine with low liquidity as we get into year-end, so we’re not surprised to see the volatility.”