Wall Street set to extend Santa Claus rally

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Stocks expected to open higher

U.S. stock futures drifted upward on Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones gained 351 points despite an increase in Covid-19 cases due to the spread of the omicron variant.

As of 5:45 a.m. ET, futures tied to the Dow jumped 88 points, or 0.24% to 36,266. S&P 500 futures rose 12.75 points, or 0.27% to 4,795 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 86.25 points, or 0.52% to 16,646.25.

On Monday, the Dow rallied 351.82 points, or 0.98% to finish the session at 36,302.38. The S&P 500 surged 65.40 points, or 1.38% to close at 4,791.19 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 217.89 points, or 1.39% to end at 15,871.26.

Covid surge forces Apple to shut its NYC retail stores

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has closed its major New York City retail stores to indoor traffic due to an increase in Covid-19 infections, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

According to the report, the move affects 16 stores across NYC, including those in Fifth Avenue, SoHo, World Trade Center, and Grand Central.

Customers will not be allowed to get into the stores to buy anything on site, and technical support from the Genius Bar won’t be available. However, customers can pick up online orders at the stores.

In recent weeks, the iPhone maker has temporarily closed several stores including locations in Florida, D.C., Georgia, Texas, Ohio, and California as it tries to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Apple stock was little changed in the pre-market trading session on Tuesday. The stock ended Tuesday’s regular session at $180.33, up $4.05, or 2.30% a share.

Crude futures rise as traders shrug off omicron fears

On the commodities front, crude futures were soaring on Tuesday morning as traders shrugged off worries that the omicron variant may hurt economic recovery and oil demand.

Crude futures were also helped by a preliminary Reuters poll released Monday, which showed that U.S. crude oil stockpiles are likely to have fallen for the fifth week in a row. The poll also indicated that gasoline stockpiles were mostly unchanged last week.

As of 5:45 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.07, or 1.42% to $76.64 a barrel. Brent crude futures climbed 96 cents, or 1.23% to $79.18 a barrel.

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