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Dec. 6, 2021, 4:16 p.m. EST

Dow stages nearly 650-point rally for best day since March as Fauci comments deliver dose of bullishness to Wall St.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its best daily gain since early March as investors turned more bullish on Monday, following last week's volatile stretch that had been sparked by concerns about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Fears of a policy error by the Federal Reserve also have been making investors uneasy. On Monday, the Dow (DOW:DJIA) closed up 1.9% or about 647 points, to reach 35,227, powered by gains in UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYS:UNH) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYS:GS) , while the S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) closed up 1.2% to reach 4,591 and the Nasdaq Composite Index (NASDAQ:COMP) advanced 0.9% to end at around 15,225. The more upbeat trading in stocks came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S.'s leading specialist in infectious diseases, offered encouraging comments on the outlook of the omicron variant over the weekend. Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union" that early reports about the spread of the omicron variant of coronavirus suggest it might be less severe than initially feared. Shares of vaccine maker Moderna (NAS:MRNA) , meanwhile, ended down more than 13%.

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