Dow Futures Slumping After Vaccine Efficacy Comments

Moderna's CEO said its vaccine may be less effective against the omicron variant

Digital Content Manager
Nov 30, 2021 at 9:12 AM
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Stock futures are pointed firmly lower this morning, as the Covid-19 omicron variant once again casts a shadow on Wall Street. Moderna's (MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel said the vaccines may be less effective against omicron, and that it could be months before a reformulated vaccine is developed and shipped. However, President Joe Biden assured the nation an economic lockdown and more travel restrictions are not under consideration right now.

In turn, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are in a triple-digit hole this morning, while futures on the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 (NDX) are also indicating a lower open. Leading the charge lower are travel stocks, while the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is slipping due to economic concerns.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone unpacks the "fear gauge" after Friday.
  • Bitcoin's recovery had this crypto stock bouncing.
  • Plus, Regeneron's Covid headwinds; Dollar Tree stock downgraded; and Square stock reacts to the Dorsey news.

Futures 1130

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.8 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 789,256 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.42, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.47.
  2. The shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) are down 3.3% this morning. Today's dip came after the company said its Covid-19 antibody cocktail may not be as effective against the omicron variant. Year-to-date, REGN is up 35.5% heading into today.
  3. Discount retail stock Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) is down 2.9% in electronic trading, after receiving a downgrade from Goldman Sachs to "neutral" from "buy." The analyst in coverage noted the security is overpriced at its current price point. Quarter-to-date, DLTR has added 47.7%.
  4. Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) stock is up 0.4% before the bell, just one day after Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter and Square's CEO. The secure payments company also earned an upgrade from BofA Global Research to "neutral" from "underperform." In the last month, SQ has shed 16.4%.
  5. The S&P Case-Shiller home price index, the Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI), and the consumer confidence index are due out today.
OV Buzz Chart Nov 30

Omicron Variant Fears Push European, Asian Stocks Lower

Major markets in Asia were mostly lower on Tuesday, with investors monitoring updates surrounding the omicron Covid variant, especially Bancel's comments regarding current vaccine efficacy on the new strain. On the data front, China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose for November, a surprise that helped the country’s Shanghai Composite brush off the global headwinds to finish the session just above breakeven. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei both shed 1.6%, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 2.4%.

Omicron and vaccine fears are also weighing on stocks in Europe, with the major bourses lower at midday following Bancel’s comments. Euro zone inflation is also adding pressure today, as data showed inflation surged to a record 4.9% annually in November, amid higher energy prices. At last check, the German DAX has shed 1.1%, France’s CAC 40 is 1% lower, and London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.8%.


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