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Stocks Rally to Start the Week

Equity markets rebounded at the start of the week, with the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting gains.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market rebounded sharply on Monday, as investors looked past Covid-19 variant concerns.

Wall Street’s major indices were higher at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) rising 646.95 points, or 1.9%, to 35,227.03.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks rose 1.2% to settle at 4,591.67. Most sectors finished in positive territory.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) gained 0.9% to close at 15,225.15.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) declined sharply on Monday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 26.75 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 11.4% at 27.18.

In commodities, oil prices were higher on Monday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose $2.84, or 4.3%, to $69.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, rose $2.81, or 4%, to $72.69 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices fell, as the February futures contract declined $4.40, or 0.3%, to $1,779.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures declined 23 cents, or 1%, to trade at $22.26 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: Equity markets have experienced extreme volatility as of late, with investors growing concerned about an accelerated Fed tapering cycle and the presence of a new Covid-19 variant. The Fed is widely expected to begin tapering its bond purchase program in the near term.