Portfolio

US pre-open: Wall Street futures in the green following omicron-fuelled selloff

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Monday 29 Nov 2021

US pre-open: Wall Street futures in the green following omicron-fuelled selloff

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were pointing to gains ahead of the bell on Monday following Friday's omicron variant-fuelled selloff.
As of 1220 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.53%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.72% and 0.88% higher, respectively.

The Dow closed 905.04 points lower on Friday as traders returned from the Thanksgiving Day break to concerns regarding a new and virulent strain of Covid-19 found in South Africa.

Market participants were still monitoring developments around the new "variant of concern" prior to the open on Monday, with preliminary evidence suggesting omicron comes with an increased risk of reinfection, according to the World Health Organization.

While the variant was initially reported to be centralised to South Africa, it has now been found in the UK, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong. No cases have been detected in the US as of yet.

AvaTrade's Naeem Aslam said: "The major risk to markets is whether the current vaccinations will be effective against the Omicron variant or not. However, according to vaccine manufacturers, it is too soon to make a judgement on this and they are investigating the repercussions of the variant for now. However, Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, stated that his company could release a modified version of the vaccine to combat the new variant by early 2022.

"Moving onwards, the biggest risk causing uncertainty in stock markets will likely be news regarding the Omicron variant. Currently, it is too soon to communicate to what extent the variant will likely affect stock markets and general market sentiment. However, after the news, the volatility index has jumped to 28.62 and expectations for the first interest hike by 25 basis points have been extended from June 2022 to July 2022."

Travel stock futures, which took a beating on Monday, were in the green in pre-market trading, with Carnival, Norwegian, American, Delta, United and Booking Holdings all trading higher, while bank futures were also higher after the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.540%.

On the macro front, October pending home sales data will be published at 1500 GMT, while Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell will deliver a speech at 2005 GMT.

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