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S&P 500 Turns Negative as First U.S. Omicron Case Triggers Uncertainty

Stock MarketsDec 01, 2021 03:27PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The S&P 500 turned negative Wednesday, as investor sentiment was soured by fresh fears about the Omicron coronavirus variant after the U.S. reported its first case of the new strain. 

The S&P 500 fell 0.26%, and had been more than 1% higher intraday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43%, or 148 points, and the Nasdaq slipped 1.1%.

U.S. health officials confirmed Wednesday that the first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was identified in California. The news triggered a bout of uncertainty, with the CBOE Volatility Index, or so-called fear index turning positive, triggering a wave of selling in the broader market and offset positive labor market data.  

Private payrolls grew by 534,000 in November, less than the 570,000 in October, but ahead of expectations for 525,000.

The better-than-expected jobs data comes just days ahead of the monthly nonfarm payrolls due Friday, and strengthened expectations for the Federal Reserve to step up the pace of bond tapering.

In his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, Fed Chair Jerome Powell continued to reiterate that speeding up the taper of bond purchases would be on the agenda at the December meeting, but added that there was no reason for faster taper to be disruptive to markets.

Utilities, a typically defensive corner of the market, was one of the few sectors in the green.

AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), Alliant Energy (NASDAQ:LNT), WEC Energy (NYSE:WEC) were among the biggest gainers.

In another boost to utilities, which also serve a bond proxy, treasury yields gave up some gains following their intraday surge, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yields eased further below 1.5%.

Health care stocks were pushed higher by a more than 8% surge in Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) after the pharmaceutical company reported a positive update from its mid-stage focal glomerular sclerosis study.

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), meanwhile, slumped more than 11% after losing an appeal against a court ruling on patents – used in the making of its Covid-19 vaccine – held by Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ:ABUS). Arbutus surged 36%, but was well off its session highs. 

In energy, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) was in focus after the oil major forecast a doubling of earnings and cash flow by 2027 amid plans to lower capital expenditure.

In tech, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) erased its intraday gains as the broader market reversed. The tech giant was up more than 1% intraday as some on Wall Street highlighted improving signs of improving supply chain pressures that could help the tech maker roll out its latest line of iPhones.

Citing signs of improved wait times for iPhones, UBS forecasts Apple to sell 80 million iPhones in the December quarter, compared with 82 million last year.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), meanwhile, fell more than 2% even as Cathie Wood revealed that ARK purchased 1.1 million shares of the social media company on Tuesday, amid optimism about the future of the company under the leadership of new Chief Executive Parag Agrawal.

S&P 500 Turns Negative as First U.S. Omicron Case Triggers Uncertainty
 

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Comments (47)
Gershom Zvi
Gershom Zvi Dec 01, 2021 4:39PM ET
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$Lit Global ETF just coming back
Gershom Zvi
Gershom Zvi Dec 01, 2021 4:37PM ET
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A little manipulation with booster helps a lot
Gershom Zvi
Gershom Zvi Dec 01, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Common cold variant games
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Dec 01, 2021 4:10PM ET
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Don't let the market instability confuse you. This is the beginning of a major crash. Hold your puts!!
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Dec 01, 2021 4:10PM ET
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ok guy.
Nona Jom
Nona Jom Dec 01, 2021 4:10PM ET
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No its not. Not alliwed to crash in corona pandemic. In recession yes but not now
Sean Livingstone
Sean Livingstone Dec 01, 2021 4:08PM ET
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I cut some stocks on this rip this morning, and waiting for tomorrow or Friday bottom to go back in.
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 01, 2021 4:08PM ET
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boy you guys sure like paying the taxman huh?
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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I'm sure that by tomorrow, the most criminally manipulated investment mechanism in history will "rally" on some sort of "hope".  Truly a joke of epic proportions.
Maks Mars
Maks Mars Dec 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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no way, big crash usueful to taper commodities…..never been so easy lol
Fernando Lazarini
Fernando Lazarini Dec 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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vaccines hopes come to my mind.
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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wait wait but first they have to let their family members know so the big politicians can get in on it.
Maks Mars
Maks Mars Dec 01, 2021 4:05PM ET
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Babau Covid back to deflationary oil headed towards 20$
CHRIS DER
DerChris Dec 01, 2021 4:03PM ET
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Buy the dips
Maks Mars
Maks Mars Dec 01, 2021 4:03PM ET
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so do that and got burned lol
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 01, 2021 4:03PM ET
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Maks Mars  not if you hold.
zen cool
zen cool Dec 01, 2021 3:59PM ET
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totally chose to announce after eu mkt closed; no one dies from Omicorn yet, tomorrow Asian markets suffers again
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:55PM ET
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nowadays, men generations dance in tiktok w heels and skirt
Kevin Hull
Kevin Hull Dec 01, 2021 3:53PM ET
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Best way too look like the good guy and save us all. Be the one to rebuild the market. ready for the over night slump when world markets open.
Jamie An
Jamie An Dec 01, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Yes we got the 1st case, and his condition is extremely mild. Get out manipulators!
TheEnd IsNigh
TheEnd IsNigh Dec 01, 2021 3:49PM ET
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What happens when you combine fear and stupidity? America. My grandfather, and those in generations before him, would disagree as he was part of the group who didn't cower to factions overrunning Europe and Asia. Death was an easier pill to swallow than oppression. Now? We're scared of things that are meant to keep the human population in check...as we strip the earth of resources, poison the water, and bulldoze habitats. All to support the unchecked growing global population. We passed by the logic and reason of "science" a long time ago.
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:49PM ET
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the men new generations dance in tiktok with heels and skirts
Kevin Hull
Kevin Hull Dec 01, 2021 3:49PM ET
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Pretty much!!!
DaNu Da
DaNu Da Dec 01, 2021 3:49PM ET
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Human population keeps itself in chech. Most developped countries have negative population growth. No need to *******each other or celebrate virus *****humans.
Emin Mammadzada
Emin Mammadzada Dec 01, 2021 3:48PM ET
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Such a joke stuff, total bias and a massive manipulation. It does not matter good news or bad news, the market would completely go to the opposite direction. Because of certain individuals would manipulate indexes whatever they want it. SEC, FINRA and other institutions only have their names on the paper.
Jamie An
Jamie An Dec 01, 2021 3:47PM ET
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Shorts grab traders neck and try to push them in river named panic. Noway shorts. We know there is 0 death reported from this variant. You will lose a lot of profit in market. It deserve to your manipulation. gggg
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:47PM ET
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there is one death, my hope in the market
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Dec 01, 2021 3:41PM ET
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Kinda makes you forget about inflation, the huge amount of government spending, and the inevitable interest rate hikes.
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:41PM ET
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omicron treatment: chicken soup w onion, carrot and stay home
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:40PM ET
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NEWS ALERT omicron treatment: chicken soup with onion, carrot, pepper and stay in home not vaxx
William Smith
William Smith Dec 01, 2021 3:40PM ET
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Is there any "EXPERT" in the entire world that knows less about what they are "EXPERTS" in than the Fraud Fauci?
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Dec 01, 2021 3:38PM ET
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Roller coaster racket market!!!!!
Jamie An
Jamie An Dec 01, 2021 3:38PM ET
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I'm get little boreing shorts? then you are killing patient and medis report it, Look it's the first death case from omnicron, market should get panic?
Sarven Buyuker
Sarven Buyuker Dec 01, 2021 3:36PM ET
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News of the century!
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 01, 2021 3:35PM ET
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nocronOMICRON book variant?? whom choose that fk name
Dominic Mazoch
Dominic Mazoch Dec 01, 2021 3:35PM ET
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Got an idea! 1. Stock market only open 2 to 4 hours a day. 2. You have to hold or short a stock for 24 hours. That might bring some sense to the market. You buy or short with some seriousness.
Dominic Mazoch
Dominic Mazoch Dec 01, 2021 3:35PM ET
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Er, own or short for at least 24 hours.
Mox Mox
Mox Mox Dec 01, 2021 3:25PM ET
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Market is not falling because of COVID. stop pushing fake narrative please
IceIce Baby
IceIceBaby Dec 01, 2021 3:25PM ET
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S&P is 3,5% below ATH. I wouldn't even call it a falling.
 
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