Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street set to jump after Friday's omicron-driven plunge
- Fauci says U.S. needs to be prepared to do 'everything' to fight variant
- America plans to restrict travel from South Africa, other nations
- Moderna, Pfizer say omicron vaccine could be ready next year
- Cyber Monday next after Black Friday traffic drops from pre-Covid levels
The Dow, after Friday's plunge, was set to bounce more than 300 points to start the week as investors monitor the highly mutated Covid omicron variant. The 30-stock average sank 905 points, or 2.5%, in Friday's post-holiday shortened session, in a global sell-off triggered by South Africa's discovery of what the World Health Organization later called a "variant of concern." The S&P 500 tumbled 2.3% and the Nasdaq slipped 2.2%. The three major benchmarks were negative for the week.
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that Americans need to be prepared to do "anything and everything" to fight omicron. The variant has several mutations to the spike protein that allows the virus to enter the body, and some of those mutations could lead to increased antibody resistance and transmissibility. However, Fauci said it will take about two weeks to have more definitive information on omicron's transmissibility, severity and other characteristics. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, told the ABC program "This Week" that it's still "too early to say" whether lockdowns or new mandates will be appropriate.
The WHO urged countries around the world not to impose flight bans on southern African nations due to concerns over omicron. The U.S. plans to restrict travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The variant has been found in the U.K., Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong. However, omicron has yet to be found in America. Fearing new travel bans, airline stocks were crushed Friday. But they were bouncing higher in Monday's premarket trading, along with the broader strength in stocks.
Vaccine makers, including Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, said they're studying omicron even as it remains to be seen how the variant responds to current shots or whether new formulations are required. Moderna said it could roll out a reformulated vaccine early next year. Pfizer could have a new vaccine against omicron in less than 100 days, CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Monday. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Monday that while the variant is likely present in most countries, travel restrictions can slow down the spread and save lives.
U.S. retailers are estimated to generate online sales of up to $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday, a decline in growth from a year earlier as fewer discounts and limited choices due to global supply chain disruptions deter shoppers. Traffic at retail stores on Black Friday dropped 28.3% compared with 2019, as Americans shifted more of their spending online and kicked off their shopping earlier in the year, according to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions. However, Black Friday traffic was up 47.5% from last year.