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Stock Futures Rise After Friday Mass Sale, Investors Watch Omicron Covid Variant

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Stock futures rose in overnight trading on Sunday after Friday’s massive sell-off as investors monitor the latest developments related to the Covid omicron variant.

Futures contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 100 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.5% and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.5%.

The stocks are coming out of a shortened session Friday in which the Dow Jones recorded its worst day since October 2020. The Dow Jones lost 905 points, or 2.5%. The S&P 500 fell 2.3% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.2%. All three major indices were negative for the week.

“The pandemic and the COVID variants remain one of the biggest risks to the markets, and are likely to continue to inject volatility over the next few years. It’s hard to say at this point how sustainable or impactful this latest variant will be for the markets, “Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer at Truist Advisory Services, said in a note Friday.

The World Health Organization on Friday called the omicron strain a “variant of concern.” As scientists continue to research the variant, the large number of mutations in omicron has sounded the alarm. According to the WHO, preliminary evidence suggests that the strain has an increased risk of reinfection.

The variant was first reported to the WHO in South Africa and has been found in the UK, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong, but not yet in the United States. restrict travel from southern Africa.

Vaccine makers have announced steps to investigate omicron with tests already underway. While it remains to be seen how omicron responds to current vaccines or whether new formulations are needed, Moderna chief medical officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that the vaccine maker could roll out a reformulated vaccine against the omicron variant early on. next year.

In addition to Covid developments, investors are also anticipating key economic data released this week. Friday’s November jobs report is expected to show solid job growth. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 581,000 jobs to be created in November. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing survey is released Wednesday, and economists also expect strong results.

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