Dow Futures Sink as Omicron Grips Wall Street

The Fed's monetary policy decision is still fresh in investors minds

Deputy Editor
Dec 20, 2021 at 9:28 AM
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After a steep slide on Friday, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are poised for another sharp selloff this morning, as the panic over the omicron variant hits a fever pitch ahead of the holidays. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures also sit firmly in the red, as new lockdowns in Europe due to the fast-spreading variant are weighing on global market sentiment, especially after the U.S Federal Reserve's decision to quickly taper its monetary support. 

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

  • This cybersecurity stock is an interesting Metaverse play.   
  • Why cannabis sector watchers should keep an eye on PFE and V. 
  • Plus, MRNA jumps on booster data; solar stock downgraded; and Versa stock surges on buyout buzz. 

Futures Dec20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.9 million call contracts traded on Friday, and over 1.1 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.59, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.49.
  2. Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) is up 6.9% pre-market, after the drugmaker announced promising data for the booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine. Specifically, the 50 microgram booster increased neutralizing antibodies against variant by 37-fold. Other vaccine stocks are rising, amid today's Covid-19 concerns.
  3. Keybanc downgraded Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN) to "sector weight" from "overweight," citing proposals in California that would diminish the benefits for solar power customers. In electronic trading, the solar stock is down 8.9%, and is eyeing a fresh annual low should these losses hold.
  4. Verso Corp (NYSE:VRS) is up 32.3% before the bell this morning, after news that the Ohio-based paper product producer is to be acquired by Sweden-based BillerudKorsnäs for $27 per share in cash, or approximately $825 million. Coming into today, VRS is up 66.8% year-to-date. 
  5. Today will bring leading economic indicators.   
OV Futures Dec 20

Omicron Concerns Weigh Internationally

The quickening spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant had Asian markets collapsing on Monday, led by Japan’s Nikkei, which dropped 2.1%, and followed closely by the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, which dropped 1.9%. Meanwhile the South Korean Kospi suffered a 1.8% drop, while China’s Shanghai Composite shed 1.1%. Investors are eyeing news that China slashed its one-year loan prime rate to 3.8% from 3.85%, marking the first of its kind since April 2020, though this move was expected.

European markets are also sporting sizeable losses as the severity of the Omicron variant looms large, and could mean more lockdowns and restrictions during the holidays, especially after the Netherlands went into full lockdown on Sunday. Plus, in Germany, travel restrictions have been imposed for arrivals from Norway, France, and Denmark. At last check, the London FTSE 100 and French CAC 40 are down 1.2%, while the German DAX has taken a 1.9% haircut.





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