Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday, regaining some of the ground they lost in Friday's sell-off, as investors were hopeful that the Omicron coronavirus variant would not lead to lockdowns after reassurance from US President Joe Biden.
The Nasdaq led gains among the major averages with help from the technology sector, while the S&P and the Dow advanced after suffering their biggest one-day percentage declines in months in Friday's holiday-shortened session as investors worried that the latest Covid-19 variant would cause economic disruption.
Biden said on Monday that Omicron-related lockdowns were off the table for now and he urged Americans not to panic about the variant. However, he did recommend vaccination and mask wearing indoors to combat the virus and said the United States was working with pharmaceutical companies to make contingency plans if new vaccines were needed.
Those comments and indications from drug companies that they are taking the variant seriously were reassuring for investors, who had been anxious about the potential for further Covid restrictions.