Stock meander higher, scoring another record for S&P 500

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Health care stocks also rose. Biogen jumped 7.6%.

Communication, technology and energy stocks kept the market’s gains in check. Facebook parent Meta Platforms slipped 0.9%, chipmaker Nvidia fell 1.3% and Exxon Mobil dropped 0.8%.

Investors have become more comfortable with the omicron variant of the coronavirus in 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. Trading this week has been slow, with less than 3 billions shares exchanging hands on the New York Stock Exchange the last two days, compared to the 4.5 billion shares typically bought and sold on an average day.

Bond yields were moving higher in the final days of 2021. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 1.54% compared with 1.48% the day before.

Energy futures mostly rose. The price of U.S. crude oil was up 0.6%.