* (Updates prices, adds commentary, changes byline)
* S&P tech sector lead gains
* Twitter down 0.6% after CEO Dorsey steps down
* Indexes up: Dow 0.39%, S&P 1.10%, Nasdaq 1.50%
Nov 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street regained some of Friday's
losses on Monday, with the technology sector leading the charge
and investors appearing to be somewhat reassured by U.S.
President Joe Biden's comments about the Omicron virus variant.
The S&P and the Dow suffered their biggest one-day
percentage declines in months in Friday's holiday-shortened
session as investors worried that the latest variant of the
COVID-19 virus would cause economic disruption.
But Biden said on Monday that Omicron-related lockdowns were
off the table for now, though he noted the variant was a cause
for concern but not for panic as he urged Americans to get
vaccinated and wear masks indoors.
Those comments and indications from drug companies that they
are taking the variant seriously were reassuring for investors,
who had been anxious about the potential for further COVID
restrictions, according to Carol Schleif, deputy chief
investment officer for the BMO family office in Minneapolis.
"It's not like the start of the pandemic all over again,"
said Schleif, who also noted that after Friday's knee-jerk
reaction, investors have been trained this year to buy the dip.
"People are willing to just take a deep breath and try to
reassess, be a little more patient."
By 2:59 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 283.43 points, or 0.81%, to 35,182.77, the S&P 500
gained 68.99 points, or 1.50%, to 4,663.61 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 306.63 points, or 1.98%, to 15,798.29.
Among the S&P's 11 major sectors, technology led
with an almost 3% gain, followed by real estate and
Gains in Amazon.com and Tesla Inc helped
boost the S&P with investors viewing Friday's losses as a cue
for bargain-hunting on high-value tech names.
"People are looking at it as a little bit of a sale on
Friday and an opportunity to get into some areas of the market
that got hit hard," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager
at Dakota Wealth Management.
Twitter Inc reversed early gains and traded down
1.7% after the social media firm said CEO Jack Dorsey will step
down and be succeeded by Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal.
The move ends Dorsey's run as CEO of two major technology
companies, the second being digital payments firm Square Inc
Square's shares were up 0.8%.
The Dow was up solidly but underperformed its peers
under pressure from Merck & Co Inc, which was down more
than 5.8%. It extended losses from Friday, when updated data
from a study of its experimental COVID-19 pill showed lower
efficacy in reducing risk of hospitalization and deaths than
Among other stocks, casino operators Wynn Resorts
and MGM Resorts International fell 3% and 0.7%,
respectively, tracking losses in their Macau units, which were
rattled by arrests over alleged links to cross-border gambling
and money laundering.
Advanced Micro Devices rose 3.5% following a report
that electric-car maker Tesla has started using a new AMD chip
in Model Y vehicles in China.
Tesla's shares gained 4% after a report that chief Elon Musk
urged employees to reduce the cost of vehicle deliveries.
The S&P's biggest boost was from Apple Inc, which
gained 2% after HSBC raised its price target on the iPhone
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.43-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.14-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and 19 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 34 new highs and 292 new lows.
(Reporting By Sinéad Carew; Editing by Dan Grebler)