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Market check: Stocks shake off some volatility, trend higher

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Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick provides the latest on stock market action.

Video transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. The noon hour here in New York City, and we are looking at all three major indices right now in the green. The Dow is up more than 600 points and the NASDAQ up 30 here, despite a bit of a rotation out of techs. In terms of sectors that we're watching right now, financials, as well as utilities, among those leading the gains in the session right now. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick, who's tracking all of the market moves for us today. Emily.

EMILY MCCORMICK: Akiko, good afternoon. And stocks, as you mentioned, are trading higher as we head into this afternoon session and shaking off some of last week's volatility. Now we have the S&P 500 Dow and the NASDAQ all moving to the upside. The Dow is seeing by far the biggest rise, up now more than 600 points or about 1.8%. Now that index in turn is seeing Walgreens Boots Alliance the biggest outperformer, alongside Boeing and Visa leading the way higher.

Now I also want to spotlight small cap stocks today because they are recovering after a couple of weeks of losses as well here. The Russell 2000 Small Cap Index is now up about 1.3%, up more than 1% this afternoon. And however, we should mention that given that small caps are cyclical in nature, they do tend to be quite vulnerable to coronavirus concerns. And they had been hit hard heading into this week, so perhaps one of the reasons we're seeing so much buying action into that index today as well. And in fact, we do take a look at this one-month chart here for the Russell 2000. We can see that that index has been down about 10% for that period.

But also want to highlight that other blue chip cyclical areas of the market have also been hit hard recently, but are recovering today. Now I'm looking specifically at travel stocks. And airlines are really rallying after that more encouraging data on the omicron variant emerged over the weekend, with Dr. Anthony Fauci saying that early data from South Africa is suggesting that this variant may not cause as severe illness as in previous variants, while noting that more data is still needed on that front. We also are seeing hotel and cruise stocks moving higher, as well as crude oil prices, of course, which do tend to move higher in tandem with these travel stocks as well.

And then, finally, I do want to give a quick note here on the VIX, of course, the CBOE Volatility Index, which is back down today near that 29 level. We did see it spike to as high as 35.3 on Friday for the highest level we've seen since January. So of course, these new coronavirus variant concerns really causing a lot of jitters among investors and volatility in the market. But we are now down around that 29 level, though that is still higher than what we've seen throughout most of November and October. Akiko.

AKIKO FUJITA: OK, Emily McCormick, thanks so much for that.

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