US pre-open: Futures lower as omicron concerns weigh on sentiment again

30 November 2021

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street futures were firmly in the red ahead of the bell on Tuesday as concerns regarding the Covid-19 omicron variant resurfaced.
As of 1225 GMT, Dow Jones futures were down 1.02%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.86% and 0.53% weaker, respectively.

The Dow closed 236.60 points higher on Monday, reclaiming some of the heavy losses recorded at the tail end of last week.

However, futures headed south prior to the open after <strong>Moderna</strong> chief executive Stephane Bancel warned that existing vaccines were likely to be less effective against the new strain, stating there could be a "material drop" in current vaccines' effectiveness against omicron and stated it may take months to develop a vaccine specific to the new strain.

Elsewhere, <strong>Regeneron</strong> warned that its antibody treatment may also have a reduced level of effectiveness against the variant.

In addition to stock futures trading lower on the news, with travel stocks trading lower after yesterday's rebound and shares in pharmaceutical companies feeling the heat, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note also fell - down ten basis points to 1.43%.

While coronavirus symptoms linked to the omicron variant have been branded as "extremely mild" by the South African doctor that discovered it, with the variant now being found in more than 12 nations across the globe, several have made the move to again restrict travel.

On the macro front, September's house price index will be released at 1400 GMT, while November's Chicago PMI was slated for publication at 1445 GMT and <em>the Conference Board</em>'s November consumer confidence report, testimony from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and a speech from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will all follow at 1500 GMT.