Stock futures pointed to a modestly higher open for Wall Street Monday as investors prepared for the last trading week of 2021 by assessing what threat the spread of the Omicron variant might have on the global economy.
Contracts linked to the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 17 points, or 0.05%,
futures were rising 0.18% and
futures were up 0.25%. Thin trading is expected on Wall Street this week.
Stocks finished Thursday with gains and the S&P 500 rose 0.6% to close at a record high of 4,725, its first all-time closing high since Dec. 10.
All three major stock indexes finished the holiday-shortened week solidly higher. Markets were closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.
Asian stocks closed mixed Monday, while European stocks were mostly higher.
In the United States, the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has pushed daily virus cases ahead of those fueled by the Delta variant over the summer, according to CNN. Airlines canceled thousands of flights over the Christmas weekend and delayed countless others as Covid spikes created staffing shortages. Bloomberg reported that new cases of coronavirus in New York state surged to an all-time high on Christmas Eve.
Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said that while markets have “priced in” that Omicron is a less virulent strain of Covid-19, the “disruption to goods and services from isolating workers, notably air travel, seems to be the main fallout so far.”
But Halley said that likely would only cause “short-term nerves” and he sees the “global recovery story for 2022 still on track.’
The corporate calendar for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day will be quiet. No major companies are scheduled to report earnings or meet with analysts. Economic data also will be light, except for some reports on the U.S. housing market.
Oil prices declined Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4% to $72.77 a barrel.
Here are some stocks on the move Monday:
United Airlines (UAL) declined 1.9% as carriers canceled thousands of flights over the Christmas weekend as Covid cases surged.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) fell 1.1% and
American Airlines (AAL) declined 1.6%.
Cruise companies such as
Carnival (CCL) and
Royal Caribbean (RCL) also posted losses in premarket trading.
Write to Joe Woelfel at [email protected]
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