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Stocks Turn Choppy After 2-Day Rally   12/08 13:11

   Stocks turned choppy on Wall Street Wednesday following a two-day rally.

   (AP) -- Stocks turned choppy on Wall Street Wednesday following a two-day 
rally.

   The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 1:19 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average fell 53 points, or 0.2%, to 35,666 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

   The muted trading for the benchmark S&P 500 index follows a two-day rally 
that included its biggest gain since March. The rally also nearly erased its 
losses from the last two weeks.

   Communications and health care stocks made solid gains. Facebook parent Meta 
Platforms rose 2.5% and Twitter rose 3.5%.

   Technology companies remained wobbly. Apple rose 1.7%, while Microsoft fell 
0.7%. Chipmakers also slipped. Intel shed 2%.

   A wide range of travel-related companies gained ground in a sign that 
investors are confident that the industry will continue its recovery despite 
the threat from the omicron variant of COVID-19. Booking Holdings rose 2.8%, 
Wynn Resorts rose 2.6% and Carnival rose 6.6%.

   U.S. crude oil prices rose 0.8%, though energy stocks were mixed.

   Smaller company stocks far outpaced the broader market. The Russell 2000 
index rose 1%.

   Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.51% from 1.48% 
late Tuesday.

   Markets in Asia were mostly higher. Tokyo's Nikkei gained 1.4% as economists 
are forecasting a rebound for the world's third largest economy in the current 
quarter after coronavirus caseloads plummeted.

   Markets in Europe fell. Germany's Dax shed 0.8% as Germany's parliament 
elected Olaf Scholz as the country's ninth post-World War II chancellor, 
opening a new era for the European Union's largest economy after Angela 
Merkel's 16-year tenure.

   Stocks have been mostly making gains since Monday following comments from 
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical adviser, who said early 
indications suggested that omicron may be less dangerous than the delta variant.

   "The generally more confident tone is a function of omicron news," said Liz 
Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "Regardless of 
what's happening, it's still amazing to see all the flip-flopping happening at 
the sector level."

   Markets had slipped the previous two weeks over several concerns, including 
rising inflation, the newest coronavirus variant and how both issues could 
impact economic growth. Choppiness in the market will likely persist through 
December, she said.

   Investors could get more insight into how the economy is faring later this 
week and next week. On Friday, the Labor Department will give an update on how 
rising prices are impacting consumers with the release of its Consumer Price 
Index for November.

   The Federal Reserve is scheduled to hold a two-day meeting of policymakers 
next week that could offer an update on the central bank's plans to tackle 
inflation. The Fed has said it plans to speed up the pace at which it trims its 
bond purchases, which have helped keep interest rates low. That has raised 
concerns that the Fed will raise its benchmark interest rates next year sooner 
than expected.

 
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