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US stocks edge higher as investors struggle against Omicron volatility

Trader Leon Montana works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stocks NYSE worry

  • US stocks edged slightly higher on Thursday as investors continue to grapple with the Omicron variant.
  • Adding to market concerns is Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggestion of tapering its bond purchases at a faster pace. 
  • A report on a drop in demand for Apple’s iPhones this holiday season added to the volatility.

US stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday as concerns surrounding the Omicron virus and hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell weighed on investors.

On Wednesday, the CDC said it identified the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the US, which it found in California. With little known about how transmissible and deadly the new variant is, and whether current vaccines protect against it, investors are selling first and asking questions later.

Adding to the volatility on Thursday was a report from Bloomberg that Apple is experiencing a decline in demand for its iPhones this holiday season. Shares of Apple traded down more than 3% in early Thursday trades.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

The metaverse investment theme is growing in popularity, with Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood calling it a multi-trillion dollar opportunity that will infiltrate every sector.

Sales of virtual land in the metaverse hit $106 million last week, with The Sandbox platform taking a big lead from other NFT platforms. 

Insider sales have soared to a record high this year, with Elon Musk selling more than $10 billion of Tesla last month. Jeff Bezos is also selling Amazon stock, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently sold half of his stake in the software giant.

Fidelity is launching its own spot bitcoin ETF in Canada this week, even as the SEC continues to only favor futures-based bitcoin ETFs.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell as much as 1.95% to $64.29 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped as much as 1.89% to $67.57 per barrel.

Gold fell as much as 0.29% to $1,779.10 per ounce.

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