NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose early Monday, opening 2022 on a positive note as markets weighed the latest Covid-19 case trends and awaited key economic data.
Soaring infections caused by the Omicron variant have lifted Covid-19 case counts, but health experts believe many of the cases are less virulent than with earlier strains.
"Everything is revolving around Omicron right now," said LBBW's Karl Haeling.
"The bearish side is clearly that the case loads are just surging and it is going to test our healthcare system and disrupt supply chains which will increase inflation pressure. The other side of it is there's some hope that in a month or two Omicron just burns itself out."
About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 percent at 36,381.59.
The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent at 4,777.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent to 15,720.95.
Among individual companies, Tesla surged about 10 percent as it reported delivering more than 936,000 cars of all models in 2021, an increase of 87 percent over the previous year following a strong fourth quarter.
This week's economic calendar includes reports on the manufacturing and services sector, as well as US jobs data for December.