U.S. stocks plunged Monday as the rapid spread of the omicron variant continues to worry investors who fear the new surge could hamper economic growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 636 points, or 1.80%, while the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite index declined 1.73% and 1.88%, respectively.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||34730.51||-634.93||-1.80%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||14890.19776||-279.48||-1.84%|
Oil is also taking a hit from omicron fears and demand concerns, falling 5.14% to $67.22 per barrel.
Cruise line and airline stocks are also under pressure on Monday.
|RCL||ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP||72.58||+0.18||+0.26%|
|NCLH||NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.||20.45||+0.10||+0.47%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.||40.58||-0.20||-0.49%|
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||17.20||+0.26||+1.50%|
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||36.38||-0.17||-0.45%|
|LUV||SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.||39.07||-0.58||-1.46%|
|JBLU||JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP.||13.62||-0.29||-2.12%|
Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the new variant, reassuring preliminary data released by Moderna suggests that its booster doses will be effective against the variant.
Moderna shares are up nearly 5% during Monday’s trading session, while competitor Pfizer is up 3%.
On the earnings docket, Nike and Micron Technology will deliver results after the bell.
|MU||MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC.||81.29||-1.71||-2.06%|
In economic news, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index rose by 1.1% in November to 119.9. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected a 0.9% increase.
“The U.S. LEI rose sharply again in November, suggesting the current economic expansion will continue into the first half of 2022,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board. “Inflation and continuing supply chain disruptions, as well as a resurgence of COVID-19, pose risks to GDP growth in 2022. Still, the economic impact of these risks may be contained.”
In deals, Oracle announced it would acquire medical records technology provider Cerner in an all-cash transaction for $95 per share, or approximately $28.3 billion in equity value. The transaction is expected to close in calendar year 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.
In other market news, Biogen rallied more than 3% in premarket trading after announcing it would cut the price of Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm by 50% as it looks to make the treatment more accessible to patients.