Wall Street surge continues unabated, S&P 500 hits new closing high

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NEW YORK, New York – U.S. stocks surged again on Thursday, the last day of trading prior to the Christmas holidays.

Fears about the raging Covid-19 variant Omicron were shrugged off as investors and traders pushed the Standard and Poor’s 500 to a new record close.

“There was a lot of negative sentiment coming into the final part of the year, and investors have likely continued to see pretty strong economic growth and pretty positive developments as it relates to healthcare innovation around COVID, and that is putting in a bit of a bid into equities and causing investors to look to allocate capital as they close out the year,” Matthew Miskin, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock Investment Management told Reuters news agency Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 196.67 points, or 0.55%, to close Thursday at 35,950.56.

The Standard and Poors’ 500 advanced 29.23 points, or 0.62%, to 4,725.79, a new all-time closing high.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 131.48 points, or 0.85%, to 15,653.37.

The U.S. dollar continued to be sold off, although it advanced against the yen. The Japanese currency fell to 114.41 by the New York close Thursday.

The British pound jumped sharply to 1.3416. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9183. The euro was little changed at 1.1327.

The Canadian dollar dropped a tad to 1.2801. The Australian dollar was in demand at 0.7244. The New Zealand dollar edged up to 0.6826.

On overseas equity markets, the CAC 40 in Paris, France gained 0.77 percent. The Dax in Germany surged 1.04 percent. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.43 percent.

On Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 led the way, rising 236.16 points or 0.83 percent to 28,798.37.

China’s Shanghai Composite stacked on 20.72 points or 0.57 percent to 3,143.34.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 89.43 points or 0.39 percent to 23,191.76.

The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 24.90 points or 0.32 percent to 7,707.50.