LIVE: Market Coverage: Thursday December 9 Yahoo Finance

Get the latest up-to-the-minute continuous stock market coverage and big interviews in the world of finance every Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5pm (ET). Markets retreated from a rally that spanned three trading sessions, opening lower Thursday morning, despite fresh data from the U.S. Labor Department that showed the number of Americans filing initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level in five decades. All major U.S. indexes were down in early trading, led by a 165.80 point drop in the Dow to 35,597. The S&P 500 pulled back 11.09 points after climbing earlier this week to a near record high, and the tech-focused Nasdaq opened 11.23 points lower to 16,324.75. Weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level since September 1969, below the pre-pandemic average of about 220,000 per week, further signaling a tight labor market as employers seek to retain workers. Investors continue to asses the risks of Omicron infections, with mixed news about the severity of illness and its response to vaccines. Bloomberg reported that the COVID-19 strain was found to be 4.2 times more transmissible in its early stage than the Delta variant. The news follows consecutive gains in the last three trading sessions after investor concerns around the Omicron variant were eased by reports of less severe infection and early lab results from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech showed a third dose of their coronavirus vaccine "neutralizes" the variant. “We do think that there is fundamental support there for markets to continue to move higher here," Emily Roland, co-chief investment strategist at John Hancock investment management, told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. "Obviously we had a couple of things spook us over the last week or so, the emergence of the Omicron variant as well as this pivot from the Fed, potentially seeing them accelerating their tapering of asset purchases here. But the bottom line is that the economy is strong." With virus concerns diminishing, investors are pivoting their attention back to economic data, awaiting Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures on Friday to assess the extent inflationary pressures will persist. For more on this article, please visit:

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