U.S. Equity ETFs Eliminate Omicron Worries


U.S. markets and exchange-traded funds gained for the third consecutive session Thursday after data on COVID-19 infections revealed the Omicron variant was less severe than expected.

Thursday the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP), which tracks the S&P 500 Equal Weight (EWI) index, rose 0.7%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was up 0.7%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.0%.

Health data from the UK has revealed that the Omicron variant can cause proportionately fewer hospital cases than the Delta variant, but public health experts have always warned that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, especially as revelers gather for the December festivities, reports Reuters.

Meanwhile, the United States Food and Drug Administration has cleared the emergency use of Merck & Co’s COVID-19 antiviral pill after giving the green light to a similar treatment offered by Pfizer Inc. a day later. early.

“Last holiday season there was an even spike in cases, but now we have so many more weapons in our arsenal to tackle COVID-19 and it’s a very different perspective,” said Christopher Grisanti, Chief Equity Strategist at MAI Capital Management, Reuters. “Merck’s approval is a good example of this.”

Further adding to the risky mood, Commerce Department data revealed that U.S. consumer spending for November was up 0.6% from the previous month, the the Wall Street newspaper reports.

The US personal consumption expenditure price index, excluding food and energy, for November, which is an indicator of inflation, was 4.7% higher year-on-year. Inflation has been a key target, with the Federal Reserve indicating it will begin to reverse support policies in the era of the pandemic.

“Inflation is center stage for a lot of people,” Andrew Cole, London head of multi-asset management at Pictet Asset Management, told the WSJ. “Inflation is expected to peak, if not in the first quarter, in the first half of next year. You may have to wait until the second half of next year for central banks to relax. “

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