Omicron Weighs on the Stock Market

Another Setback for the Stock Market

Rising cases of COVID-19 caused concerns for investors yesterday. As a result, stocks plummeted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the trading session down 1.23%. At one point the DJIA fell 700 points. Meanwhile the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.2%, and the S&P 500 dipped 1.1%.

Investors are now left wondering if the Omicron variant will lead to higher inflation or a slowdown for the economy’s recovery. Major manufacturing hubs closed temporarily when the Delta variant was surging, which delayed production, created shortages, and drove prices higher.

President Biden is scheduled to provide an update on COVID-19 policies later today.

Pandemic Reopening Stocks Decline

Uncertainty is weighing on sentiment and causing investors to unload stocks. Investors are worried that spreading cases of Omicron could depress demand, particularly for jet fuel if fewer people board planes.

Outside of energy stocks, travel and leisure companies took a hit due to Omicron fears yesterday. Airlines including United Airlines (UAL) and Southwest (LUV) fell. Royal Caribbean (RCL) and other cruise lines also took a hit.

For nearly two years the pandemic has created fits and starts for the economy. It’s not yet clear what impact Omicron will have. One thing is for sure: investors seem poised to end 2021 with some of the same uncertainty that was present at the start of 2020.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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