Stock futures pointed to a third day of gains as investors looked past earlier jitters about the spread of the omicron Covid variant.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 100 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.2%.
Reopening plays were in the green in the premarket, including Las Vegas Sans, Wynn Resorts and Carnival. Airline shares were also in the green.
Helping boost sentiment were new studies suggesting that omicron has a lower risk of hospitalization than other Covid variants.
On Wednesday, the Dow gained 0.7%, bringing its two-day rally to more than 800 points. The S&P 500 climbed 1% to 4,696.56 and now sits 1% away from its record. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.2%. All three averages are on track to end the week higher. U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.
The rebound, which began Tuesday, follows a three-day losing streak for the major averages spurred by fears about the speed of the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant. It was the worst decline for the S&P over a three-day period since September. For the Nasdaq, it was the worst three-day stretch since May.
“December is a month where we’re not supposed to see much volatility, but we have thanks to the omicron variant news,” said Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones. “The last two days we have seen a very strong rebound, and now we are actually within breathing distance of record highs. In our view this two-day rally reflects confidence that the economy will be able to successfully navigate the threat from the omicron variant.”
Still, trading was relatively thin and is expected to continue to be so heading into the Christmas holiday.
On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s Covid pill, the first oral antiviral drug against the virus. The drugmaker’s shares gained about 1%.
Investors will get some key inflation data on Thursday, including prices for core personal consumption expenditures. Consumer sentiment numbers and jobless claims will also be released.
— CNBC’s Jesse Pound contributed reporting.
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