Wall Street surges after Omicron selloff, with boost from Nike, Micron

  • Tech, energy among top-gaining sectors
  • Nike up after beating quarterly estimates
  • Micron rises as it sees chip shortages easing

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes jumped on Tuesday, with strength in travel and tech shares as well as in Nike and Micron Technology following their earnings, as stocks rebounded from a coronavirus-fueled rout the session before.

The rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus has rattled stock markets around the world, triggering volatility in the final month of 2021, which has otherwise been a strong year for equities.

Gains in massive technology and tech-related stocks such as Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Amazon lifted indexes on Tuesday, as did increases in economically sensitive groups such as energy (.SPNY). Travel-related stocks surged, including Carnival Corp (CCL.N), Las Vegas Sands and Expedia Group (EXPE.O).

“It is clearly a risk-on day," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Boston. "This is clearly, at least for the day, investors saying, 'You know what, we are going to be able to ride through this Omicron surge and come out the other side in pretty good shape.’”

Defensive sectors, such as consumer staples (.SPLRCS) and utilities (.SPLRCU) that have led in December, lagged on Tuesday.

A trader in a face mask works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Nike (NKE.N) shares rose after the sports apparel company's results beat quarterly estimates for profit and revenue, and it said it was more confident that supply chain issues would ease in its next fiscal year. read more

Micron Technology (MU.O) shares jumped after the chip company forecast second-quarter sales and profits will beat estimates with shortages easing in 2022. read more

“If Micron’s forecast is strong, that tells us broadly speaking that demand is strong across many different industries,” said King Lip, chief strategist at Baker Avenue Asset Management, adding that Micron's products "go into so many different industrial applications".

General Mills (GIS.N) shares fell after the consumer staples company missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit. read more

The benchmark S&P 500 has gained roughly 23% so far in 2021.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Shreyashi Sanyal and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel, Cynthia Osterman and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.