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Indexes See Post-Holiday Boost

Business is keeping pace, though not all sectors got a piece of the action.

With Christmas behind us, the markets reopened this morning to some generally good news. In spite of the ongoing supply chain issues and concerns with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, holiday shopping sales did very well this year, rising by 8.5% over last year. According to Mastercard analysts, that’s actually the fast holiday shopping sales have jumped up in the last 17 years.

These bits of good news have culminated in some healthy boosts to the three major stock indexes. The S&P 500 saw a 0.5% boost, opening at a record high, the Dow picked up a 46 point boost, and the Nasdaq saw the greatest gains with a 0.7% rise. While there is still much uncertainty surrounding it, investors and analysts are looking to maintain their optimism on the Omicron variant, bolstered by reports that its infection is less severe than previous variants.

“We do not expect Omicron to impact the growth outlook in any significant way, but rather it is likely to accelerate the end of the pandemic,” JPMorgan’s Dubravko Lakos-Bujas said in a note to investors today.

However, not every major business sector saw gains from the good mood. Travel-centric industries, particularly airlines and cruises, saw notable drop-offs in stock value as Omicron fears kept customers at home for the holidays. Delta, American, and United Airlines all lost more than 3% of their stock value, while Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean cruises all lost approximately 5% of their value. Cruises in particular were all hampered by new COVID outbreaks occurring on their premises, bringing back the unpopularity that was seen after the infamous Diamond Princess cruise outbreak in 2020.

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