Omicron, Vaccine Stocks, Twitter: 3 Things to Watch

Omicron, Vaccine Stocks, Twitter: 3 Things to Watch
© Reuters.

By Sam Boughedda

Tech stocks roared back Monday after last week’s rout that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worse day of the year.

Investors bought the dip, taking advantage of the sharp sell-off in tech stocks. But there was also a bit of news. Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said he would step down from the social media company. 

Initially Twitter stock jumped 10% only to turn lower as the day went on.

Investors seemed to take the news of the new Omicron variant of coronavirus in stride after a weekend of headlines. Multiple countries around the world, including Japan and Israel closed their borders to foreigners or instituted partial travel bans to contain the variant’s spread.

The variant’s existence is what sent the major index into a freefall on Friday, which was a shortened trading session in the U.S. Airline stocks were in the spotlight, on concern new travel restrictions would affect their recovery, though the weekend was one of the busiest for business since the beginning of the pandemic.

President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. would outline its plans for combatting the latest variant, though he advised those Americans who have yet to be vaccinated to get their shots and urged others to get their boosters. 

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Omicron fears

The WHO said on Monday the Omicron coronavirus variant carried a very high risk of infection and multiple countries joined the list of those who have identified cases. Oil recovered after Friday’s big sell-off as hopes grew that the variant might prove to be milder than initially feared.

The World Health Organization advised its 194 member nations that any surge in infections could have severe consequences, but said no deaths had been linked to the new variant.

2. Vaccine stocks

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) rallied Monday after Omicron prompted vaccine makers to examine whether a new booster shot will need to be produced. Moderna\’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, told CNBC that it will take months to develop a booster shot explicitly designed for the new variant, but a higher dose of its current shot could be ready much sooner. However, he also acknowledged that the variant is likely to be in most countries already. On Sunday, Moderna\’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said he suspects the new variant may elude current vaccines, but they will know more in the next couple of weeks. 

3. Twitter changes

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey is to step down from his role, the social media company confirmed Monday. Investors will likely continue to guess at what his departure means for the future of Twitter, which has faced criticism in the last year for content on its platform. The new CEO Parag Agrawal is a former chief technology officer. \”I\’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,\” Dorsey said in a note he posted to Twitter. 

–Reuters contributed to this report

 

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