Stocks ended higher Tuesday, with tech stocks leading the way, as Wall Street looked beyond concerns about the omicron variant.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 492 points, or 1.4%, to 35,720, while the S&P 500 gained 1.4%, and the Nasdaq advanced 3.03%.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the new variant is "almost certainly" not more severe than Delta.
Data from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline Plc Report suggested its antibody-based COVID therapy is effective against all Omicron mutations while reports from South Africa, the epicenter of the outbreak, continue to indicate milder infections from the rapidly spreading variant.
"Early indications are that omicron is more contagious but much less deadly than the Delta variant," said Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at Navellier & Associates. "Unless the omicron story reverses, the hoped-for year-end melt-up rally should be in full swing."
Navellier said the market has entered what he called a “work zone” or “construction area,” where everyone is wearing their yellow vest and hard hat.
"No one has left the job site, but no one is taking any undue risk of getting hurt, either.," he said. "We saw last week how investors can get spanked for being overweight in stocks with a lofty Price to Sales (P/S) ratio and virtually no Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio."
In company news, Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report shares surged after Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty raised her price target on the computer giant by $36, to $200 per share, while keeping her overweight rating.
Huberty noted upside potential from Apple's nascent autonomous driving division as well as the planned launch of augmented and virtual reality products such as headsets and glasses.
Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report shares rose 3.1% after the chipmaker unveiled plans to list Mobileye, its self-driving car division, on the Nasdaq next year.
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares finished up 4.24% after CEO Elon Musk said the Congress should not approve President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Build Back Better bill that includes subsidies for electric vehicles.
In addition, Musk has sold more than $1 billion of stock over the past several weeks, yet he now owns even more shares of his electric car company than he did when he started selling, at the beginning of November, according to CNN.