Dow slides 430 points as omicron fears weigh

New data from Moderna suggests its booster will be effective against omicron variant

U.S. stocks slid Monday, continuing last week's losses, as the rapid spread of the omicron variant continues to worry investors who fear the new surge could hamper economic growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 433 points, or 1.23%, while the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite index declined 1.14% and 1.24%, respectively. At session lows, the Dow was down 699.94 points, or 1.98%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34160.78 -7.31 -0.02%
SP500 S&P 500 4326.51 -23.42 -0.54%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13352.783008 -189.34 -1.40%

Oil fell 3.7% to $68.23 per barrel, the lowest since Dec. 3, after taking a hit from omicron fears and demand concerns. 

The Federal Reserve's recent hawkish pivot to combat inflation and Sen. Joe Manchin's rejection of the Biden administration's Build Back Better plan also weighed on markets. 

Big Tech stocks also took a dive, with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Tesla and Nvidia all finishing down, but off their session lows on inflation concerns.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 159.22 -0.47 -0.29%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 2,792.75 +15.30 +0.55%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 299.84 +3.13 +1.05%
FB META PLATFORMS INC. 294.64 +0.01 +0.00%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 2,580.10 -4.56 -0.18%
TSLA TESLA INC. 829.10 -108.31 -11.55%
NVDA NVIDIA CORP. 219.44 -8.28 -3.64%

In addition, energy, cruise line and airline stocks were pressured on Monday, but finished the session mostly higher. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 75.12 +0.95 +1.28%
FANG DIAMONDBACK ENERGY INC. 128.64 +1.24 +0.97%
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP. 37.26 +0.20 +0.54%
RCL ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP 75.97 -5.14 -6.34%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 19.11 -1.18 -5.82%
NCLH NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD. 19.85 -1.08 -5.16%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 40.93 -0.50 -1.21%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 38.34 -0.42 -1.08%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 15.78 -0.46 -2.83%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 42.82 -0.89 -2.04%
JBLU JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP. 13.88 +0.37 +2.74%

STOCK AND BOND TRADING HOURS THIS WEEK

Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding the new variant, reassuring preliminary data released by Moderna suggests that its booster doses will be effective against the omicron strain. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MRNA MODERNA INC. 148.62 -6.34 -4.09%
PFE PFIZER INC. 53.37 +0.36 +0.68%

Moderna shares reversed their gains on Monday, down approximately 6% by the end of the session. Pfizer, another vaccine developer, finished up more than 2%. 

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In economic news, the Conference Board's Leading Economic Index rose by 1.1% in November to 119.9. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected a 0.9% increase.

"The U.S. LEI rose sharply again in November, suggesting the current economic expansion will continue into the first half of 2022," said Ataman Ozyildirim, senior director of economic research at The Conference Board. "Inflation and continuing supply chain disruptions, as well as a resurgence of COVID-19, pose risks to GDP growth in 2022. Still, the economic impact of these risks may be contained."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ORCL ORACLE CORP. 79.78 +0.19 +0.24%
CERN CERNER CORP. 91.38 +0.26 +0.29%

In deal news, Oracle announced it would acquire medical records technology provider Cerner in an all-cash transaction for $95 per share, or approximately $28.3 billion in equity value. The transaction is expected to close in calendar year 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions. Shares of Oracle fell about 5% following the announcement. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BIIB BIOGEN INC. 218.94 -0.66 -0.30%
CGC CANOPY GROWTH CORP. 6.85 -0.38 -5.26%

In other market news, Biogen finished lower after rallying in pre-market trading on the announcement it would cut the price of Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm by 50% as it looks to make the treatment more accessible to patients. 

Meanwhile, Canopy Growth has finished down more than 8% after Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "neutral."

Overseas, the Nikkei 225 index led Asian markets lower, falling more than 2.13%. The Hang Seng index and Shanghai Composite fell 1.93% and 1.07%. Meanwhile, the Euro STOXX 50 fell 1.3%. The 10-year Treasury yield also snapped a two-day losing streak, rising 1.7 basis points to 1.418%.