Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday, extending the rally seen over the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a moderately higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 68 points.
The markets may continue to benefit from easing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus following comments from Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) regarding the effectiveness of their vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech said preliminary laboratory studies have demonstrated that three doses of their vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant.
“Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine,” said Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla.
He added, “Ensuring as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the first two dose series and a booster remains the best course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
The claims from Pfizer and BioNTech come after initial indications the Omicron variant could be vaccine-resistant contributed to a post-Thanksgiving sell-off on Wall Street.
However, stocks have already largely offset that steep drop, potentially leading to some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.
Shortly after the start of trading, the Labor Department is due to release the results of its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for October. Job openings are expected to hold steady 10.4 million.
Following the rally seen to start the week, stocks showed another strong move to the upside during trading on Tuesday. The major averages all moved sharply higher, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq posting a particularly strong gain.
The Nasdaq soared 461.76 points or 3 percent to 15,686.92, continuing to recover after ending last Friday’s trading at its lowest closing level in well over a month. The Dow also jumped 492.40 points or 1.4 percent to 35,719.43, while the S&P 500 surged up 95.08 points or 2.1 percent to 4,686.75.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.2 percent and the German DAX Index is down by 0.4 percent.
In commodities trading, crude oil futures are inching up $0.23 to $72.28 a barrel after surging $2.56 to $72.05 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,782.80, down $1.90 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,784.70. On Tuesday, gold rose $5.20.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.83 yen compared to the 113.60 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1299 compared to yesterday’s $1.1267.
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