Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow futures sink on omicron concerns after rough week


U.S. stock futures dropped sharply Monday, heading into a holiday-shortened week filled with concern about how quickly the omicron Covid variant is spreading around the world. Dow futures fell more than 400 points after the 30-stock average dropped nearly 1.5% on Friday and sank almost 1.7% for the week. The S&P 500 fell 1% on Friday and nearly 2% for the week. The Nasdaq dipped 0.07% on Friday and roughly 3% for the week. (CNBC)

* Market turbulence may be a theme in the holiday week (CNBC)

The omicron surge hit cruise stocks, with more pressure after a Royal Caribbean (RCL) ship docked in Miami with 48 cases of Covid. Omicron concerns also pressured airline stocks. Despite recent weakness, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up more than 15.5%, 23% and 17.7%, respectively, in 2021, as of Friday's close. (CNBC)


Stock futures paired deeper losses early Monday after Moderna said a third dose of its Covid vaccine appears to provide significant protection against omicron. Without a booster, the company's vaccine has been been found to be far less effective against omicron. Moderna said it'll continue to develop an omicron-specific booster. Shares jumped 5% in the premarket. (CNBC)

* Countries consider serious Covid restrictions due to omicron (CNBC)
* Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker test positive for Covid (Reuters)

The apparent failure of President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan means that economic growth could be weaker than expected next year, according to Goldman Sachs. The plan hit a wall Sunday when Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not support his party's legislation, meaning that the bill does not have enough votes to pass the 50-50 Senate. (CNBC)

The World Economic Forum said Monday that due to Covid concerns it'll postpone its in-person annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering that brings together world leaders, billionaires and CEOs. The event, which had been scheduled from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, is "now planned for early summer," the WEF said in a statement. Organizers said an online series of "State of the World" sessions will be held instead. (CNBC)

Elon Musk faces a hefty tax bill this year, possibly the biggest in U.S. history. "For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year," the Tesla CEO tweeted Monday. Musk has sold off $14 billion worth of Tesla stock since early November. (CNBC)

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" shattered Covid box office records this weekend, opening with an estimated domestic $253 million in ticket sales. Not only the highest film debut of 2021 in North America, the movie saw the third-best opening of all time behind "Avengers: Endgame" and "Avengers: Infinity War." (CNBC)

* Google’s YouTube TV reaches a deal to restore access to Disney channels (Reuters)


Biogen (BIIB) – Biogen rallied 3.6% in the premarket after announcing it would cut the price of its Alzheimer's drug Adulhelm by 50% in order to improve access to the treatment.

Novo Nordisk (NVO) fell 4% in premarket trading after the Denmark-based drugmaker said supply issues in the U.S. market would leave it unable to meet demand for its weight-loss drug Wegovy.

Health care IT provider Cerner (CERN) will announce a deal today to be acquired by Oracle (ORCL), according to CNBC's David Faber. Cerner jumped 13% Friday after The Wall Street Journal reported the two sides were close to an agreement. Cerner rose another 1.7% in premarket trading.

Canopy Growth (CGC) slid 3.4% in premarket action after Piper Sandler downgraded the cannabis producer to "underweight" from "neutral", citing sales trends that are under pressure across Canopy's businesses.

Sunrun (RUN) tumbled 9.4% in the premarket following a KeyBanc downgrade to "sector weight" from "overweight." That follows proposals in California that would reduce "net metering" benefits for solar power customers and reduce incentives to buy such systems.

Barclays upgraded AT&T (T) to "overweight" from "neutral," based on a better broadband outlook for telecom companies than for cable providers. AT&T was up 1.6% in the premarket.

Verso (VRS) will be acquired by Swedish paper producer BillerudKorsnas in a deal worth $27 per share in cash. The Ohio-based maker of specialty, graphic and packaging paper surged 32% in premarket trading.

Axon Enterprise (AXON), a maker of stun guns and body cameras, jumped 7.3% in the premarket, following a number of stock purchases by company insiders.