The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped more than 500 points on Tuesday as stocks built off of Monday’s gains and continued to rebound from last week’s sell-off sparked by the discovery of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Dow was last seen up about 530 points, or 1.5 percent, as investors continued to shrug off the new variant.
In a major difference from Monday’s trading, Tuesday’s gains were broad-based and included not just the travel stocks that are primed to benefit from a continued global economic reopening, but also the high-growth tech stocks that largely tanked last week.
The S&P 500 rose some 2.1 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq shot up 3 percent.
Mega-cap tech stocks posted strong gains with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google all up at least 2.7 percent in mid-day trading.
Travel stocks that led Monday’s rally posted more muted gains on Tuesday, with Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line all up between 0.7 percent and 2.5 percent.
Even the riskiest of assets, cryptocurrencies, joined in on the rally Tuesday, with bitcoin gaining some 4 percent after a weekend flash crash. The world’s biggest digital currency was last seen trading at about $51,200 per coin.
The gains build off Monday’s rally that saw the Dow add almost 650 points while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq picked up some 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
In addition to the uncertain threat of the Omicron variant, investors are also positioning themselves in response to remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell who spooked tech investors last week when he warned that the central bank will still discuss hastening the tapering of the bond-buying program at its December meeting, despite new threats posed by the Omicron variant.
The program’s currently being wound down at a $15 billion-a-month pace.
“At this point, the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are higher, and it is therefore appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases … perhaps a few months sooner,” Powell said. “I expect that we will discuss that at our upcoming meeting.”
Powell’s remarks — along with the trickle of information about whether the new COVID-19 variant is resistant to vaccines, more infectious or more deadly — helped ensure the Dow finished last week in the red in what was a historically volatile week.