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U.S. Stocks Regaining Ground Following Last Friday's Sell-Off

wallstreet sept12 29nov21 lt

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Monday, regaining ground following the sell-off seen in the previous session. The major averages all moved to the upside at the start of trading, although the Dow has pulled back well off its best levels since then.

Currently, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 178.24 points or 1.2 percent at 15,669.90 and the S&P 500 is up 35.04 points or 0.8 percent at 4,629.66. Meanwhile, the Dow is up 45.03 points or 0.1 percent at 34,944.37 after spiking nearly 400 points at the open.

Bargain hunting contributed to the initial strength on Wall Street after the steep drop seen last Friday dragged the major averages down to their lowest closing levels in at least a month.

News of the detection of a new coronavirus variant contributed to the sell-off seen in the previous session, as traders worried the pandemic would continue to weigh on the global economy.

The new Covid variant, assigned the Greek letter omicron, has been labeled a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization.

The WHO described the global risk posed by the omicron variant as "very high" due to a high number of mutations that "may be associated with immune escape potential and higher transmissibility."

However, the South African doctor who treated early cases of the new variant told the BBC countries could be "panicking unnecessarily" and the symptoms she had seen were "extremely mild."

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing pending home sales rebounded by much more than expected in the month of October.

NAR said its pending home sales index spiked by 7.5 percent to 125.2 in October after tumbling by 2.4 percent to a revised 116.5 in September.

Economists had expected pending home sales to increase by 1.0 percent compared to the 2.3 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Software and semiconductor stocks have shown significant moves to the upside on the day, contributing to the jump by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Reflecting the strength in the sectors, the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index are both up by 1.8 percent.

On the other hand, tobacco stocks have moved steadily lower over the course of the session, dragging the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index down by 1.8 percent.

Gold stocks have also moved to the downside despite an uptick by the price of the precious metal, with the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index falling by 1.3 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 4.2 basis points at 1.524 percent.

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