Dow, S&P close at record highs as Omicron worries ease

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at all-time highs on Wednesday, boosted by retailers including Walgreens and Nike as investors shrugged off concerns of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Dow has now risen six straight trading days, and closed a quarter of a percent higher. The S&P 500 finished up slightly and the Nasdaq closed down slightly lower.

Ira Zlotowitz, CEO of GParency, said that while stocks are benefiting from a Santa Claus rally now, he sees investors moving from equities to real estate.

"What's unique now is the market is so flush with cash. So there, it's diversification. You see people in the stock world say, 'Hey, did I miss the opportunity?' Real estate always survived on a hedge on the downturn, and look also at some of these returns these people made in the last year. Think about it. How much did your rent go up, if you're renting. How much is the value of real estate. You take these changing that people now look at the marketplace and say, 'I want to go on the other side,' you know, the grass is greener. But clearly the grass being greener is that multi-family has, has really outperformed even in the bad times and in the good times as well."

In company news, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Nike rose against the backdrop of recent reports suggesting holiday sales were strong for U.S. retailers.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 airlines index dipped. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air Group canceled hundreds of flights again on Tuesday as the daily tally of COVID-19 infections in the United States surged. Shares of both airlines closed down more than a percent.

As 2021 draws to a close, the main U.S. stock indexes are on pace for their third straight year of stunning annual returns, and the S&P 500 is looking at its strongest three-year performance since 1999.

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