Stocks Collapse as Omicron Arrives in the U.S.

The U.S. joins a list of 23 countries where the omicron strain has been identified

Digital Content Manager
Dec 1, 2021 at 4:34 PM
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The Covid-19 omicron variant is not letting up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed this afternoon that the nation's first case of the highly contagious new strain was identified in California, meaning the U.S. has officially joined a list of 23 countries where omicron has been reported.

In response, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all promptly gave back their sizable midday gains and sank into the red. The former completed an over 461-point swing into negative territory, after trading up 520 points at its session highs. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield erased earlier gains as well to finish lower, while Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), roared to life this afternoon to clock its first close above 30 since Jan. 29.

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

  • This tech stock is the best to own in December.
  • Homebuilding stock pops on fresh analyst upgrade.
  • Plus, YETI eyes key trendline; one stock that could see omicron tailwinds; and the worst Dow stock today.

The Dow Jones Average (DJI - 34,022.04) shed 461.7 points, or 1.3% for the day. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) led the gainers, adding 1.4%, while Salesforce.com (CRM) paced the laggards with an 11.7% fall.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 4,513.04) lost 54 points, or 1.2% for the day. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 15,254.05) fell 283.6, or 1.8% for the day.

Lastly, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 31.12) added 3.9 points, or 14.5% for the day.

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  1. General Motors (GM) raised its 2021 guidance on strong pricing and consumer demand, despite the ongoing global chip shortage depleting inventories. (CNBC)
  2. The Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book survey revealed businesses hiked prices across sectors due to strong demand for raw materials, logistical challenges, as well as labor market tightness. (MarketWatch)
  3. This bullish trendline could save Yeti stock once again. 
  4. DoorDash stock upgraded on potential Covid-19 tailwinds.
  5. Blue-chip CRM stumbles to start a historically rough month.

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Oil, Gold Move in Opposite Directions on Omicron Headlines 

In line with today's theme, the omicron news had oil prices erasing earlier gains to finish Wednesday in the red. Investors are concerned the new strain could impact economic activity and oil demand. They are also awaiting Thursday's decision from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+) on production levels. In response, January-dated crude dropped 0.9%, or 61 cents, to close at $65.57. 

Gold prices scored a win, however, as coronavirus uncertainties reignited interest in the safe-haven metal. A softer U.S. dollar is also responsible for propping up the commodity. In response, February-dated gold added $7.80 or 0.4% to close at $1,784.30 for the day.

 

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