Dow futures rebound by 200 points after a big sell-off as investors reassess omicron's risk

Dow futures rebound by 200 points after a big sell-off

November 30, 2021: -Stock futures pointed to a rebound after Friday’s big sell-off, as investors monitor the latest developments related to the Covid omicron variant and assess its potential market impact.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average is gaining 210 points or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures added 0.8% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose about 0.9%.

Stocks are coming off a holiday-shortened session on Friday in which the Dow posted its worst day since October 2020. The Dow has decreased 905 points, or 2.5%. The S&P 500 tumbled 2.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.2%. The three major indexes were negative for the week.

The World Health Organization on Friday labeled the omicron strain a “variant of concern.” While scientists continue to research the variant, omicron’s large number of mutations has raised the alarm. Preliminary evidence suggests the strain has an increased risk of reinfection, according to the WHO. The variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa and has been found in the U.K., Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Hong Kong, but not yet in the U.S. Many countries, including the U.S., moved to restrict travel from southern Africa.

The South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new variant told the BBC that patients had “extremely mild” symptoms. However, it was too early to determine how omicron behaves before it is studied closely.

“While it is too early to have definitive data, early reported data suggest that the Omicron virus causes ‘mild to moderate symptoms (less severity) and is more transmissible,” Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management tweeted Sunday evening. “If this turns out to be true, this is bullish, not bearish for markets.”

Stocks that were the most brutal hit on Friday were rebounding the most on Monday.

Travel-related stocks were up across the board. Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines were up more than 4% apiece in premarket trading. American, Delta, and United airlines were up more than 2% each. Booking Holdings was up 2%, and Boeing was up 1.7%.

Vaccine makers have announced measures to investigate omicron, with testing already underway. While it remains to be seen how omicron responds to current vaccines or whether new formulations are required, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said Sunday the vaccine maker could roll out a reformulated vaccine against the omicron variant early next year.

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