Stocks higher on Wall Street, led by banks and tech – WSAV-TV

by: AP News
FILE – This Nov. 23, 2020 file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Stocks are edging higher on Wall Street in early trading Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, sending the S&P 500 slightly above the record closing high it set on Monday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
(AP) – Stocks were slightly higher Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 slightly above the record closing high it set on Monday.
With three full trading days left in the year, the S&P 500 is on pace to close up more than 27% for 2021. That would be its best performance since 2019, another banner year for the market.
The S&P 500 was up 0.2% as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq fell 0.1%.
Technology companies were once again lifting the broader market, helped by storage solutions company Western Digital, which was up 6.6%. Seagate Technology and Micron Technology were also up roughly 2%.
Investors have become more comfortable with the omicron variant of the coronavirus in the the last couple of weeks. The quickly spreading virus appears to be less severe and cause less death and hospitalization than other versions of the virus.
Much is still uncertain about omicron, which is spreading extremely quickly and leading to a return to pandemic restrictions in some places. The variant is quickly becoming the dominant strain throughout the world.
While virus-related lockdowns and travel restrictions remain a big concern, most big investors have closed out their positions for 2021 and are likely to hold their ground until next week.
Bond yields were moving higher in the final days of 2021. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.52% compared with 1.48% the day before.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 13 cents to $75.79 a barrel. Oil prices are on pace to end the year up 56%.
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL) – It “rained fish” for a few minutes in Texarkana, Texas, Wednesday afternoon as storms moved through the area.
It happened around 4:30 p.m., according to James Audirsch, who works at the Orr Maxx, a used car dealership in eastern Texas. He says he and his co-worker, Brad Pratt, heard loud noises and looked outside only to see fish falling from the sky.
(WJW) – Results of two studies indicate Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 booster shot provides strong protection against the omicron variant.
One study was conducted by the South African Medical Research Council and involved more than 69,000 healthcare workers from mid-November to mid-December.
CAMDEN, S.C. (AP) — An earthquake Wednesday hit northern Kershaw County in South Carolina, marking the fifth quake in the area since Monday.
WCSC-TV reports the quake was an estimated magnitude of 2.4 and struck about 4:12 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.