Stock futures rise slightly as market looks to extend comeback rally to a third day


Stock futures were slightly higher Wednesday evening following the second trading day in which equities climbed higher, as investors looked past earlier jitters about the spread of the omicron Covid variant.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.06%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.06%.

In regular trading, the Dow gained 0.7%, bringing its two-day rally to more than 800 points. The S&P 500 climbed 1% to 4,696.56 and now sits 1% away from its record. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.2%. All three averages are on track to end the week higher.

The rebound, which began Tuesday, follows a three-day losing streak for the major averages spurred by fears about the speed of the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant. It was the worst decline for the S&P over a three-day period since September. For the Nasdaq, it was the worst three-day stretch since May.

“December is a month where we’re not supposed to see much volatility, but we have thanks to the omicron variant news,” said Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones. “The last two days we have seen a very strong rebound, and now we are actually within breathing distance of record highs. In our view this two-day rally reflects confidence that the economy will be able to successfully navigate the threat from the omicron variant.”

Still, trading was relatively thin and is expected to continue to be so heading into the Christmas holiday.

Consumer discretionary and tech stocks were among the biggest gainers on the day Wednesday. Tesla shares jumped 7% after CEO Elon Musk said he’s reached his goal of selling 10% of his shares for tax reasons.

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid pill, the first oral antiviral drug against the virus. The drugmaker’s shares gained about 1%.

Investors will get some key inflation data on Thursday, including prices for core personal consumption expenditures. Consumer sentiment numbers and jobless claims will also be released.

— CNBC’s Jesse Pound contributed reporting.

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