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S&P 500 Closes at Record High as Stocks Nail Three-Day Win Streak

The S&P 500 closes at a record high Thursday as investors are buoyed by fading concerns about the spread of the omicron variant.
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Christmas came early on Wall Street Thursday, with stocks racking up a three-day win streak, as investors looked beyond earlier concerns about the spread of the omicron variant. 

The S&P 500 ended the holiday-shortened week up 0.62% to close at record high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 196 points, or 0.55%, to 35,390, and the Nasdaq gained 0.85%.

Caterpillar  (CAT) - Get Caterpillar Inc. Report led the Dow, rising 2% while Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report ended up 5.8% to be the top performer on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

Investors' confidence got a boost after the the Food & Drug Administration approved Pfizer's  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. ReportCovid antiviral treatment, which has shown to be highly effective against omicron.

In addition, Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax, Inc. Report published promising data from a late-stage trial of its Covid vaccine candidate, which included solid omicron efficacy, and the FDA also gave the nod to Merck's MRK antiviral pill molnupiravir prior to the start of trading, adding another arrow to the U.S. government's quiver in fighting the impact of surging infections in the world's biggest economy. 

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"Despite the high inflation numbers and the Fed's moves to address them, the slowdown in consumer spending in November, and expectations that Covid numbers will spike in January due to how transmittable the new Omicron variant is, the market has absorbed these concerns and is motoring higher," said Louis Navellier, chief investment officer at Navellier & Associates,

Navellier added that "the linchpin is that Omicron is now expected to result in much fewer hospitalizations per person infected, and hence no lockdowns are expected in the U.S."

"Optimists see this high infection rate with low severity as the beginning of the end of the pandemic," he said.

In addition, consumer confidence came in stronger than expected on Wednesday,

Weekly jobless claims were unchanged at 205,000 for the period ending on Dec. 18, with the four-week average inching higher, to 206,250. 

Durable goods orders impressed, with a headline reading of +2.5% for November when compared to last year.