Fearing that a new Covid variant would be discovered in South Africa, stock futures fell

Read Time:2 Minute, 48 Second


On November 8, 2021, a trader works on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Bren Dank Demead | Reuters

US stock index futures fell in overnight trading on Thursday as investors prepared for a shortened trading day, as Covid was again worried about a new variant discovered in South Africa.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell more than 400 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes were both in the negative zone.

On Thursday, WHO officials warned that futures prices fell after a new variant of Covid-19 was discovered in South Africa. Due to this variant, the UK temporarily suspended flights from six African countries.

The market was closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, so the stock market retreated from Wednesday’s small rise, which stopped the decline of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite this week.

U.S. Treasury yields climbed this week, putting pressure on high-growth stocks. The Nasdaq Index fell 1.3% this week, while the S&P 500 Index rose less than 0.1%, and the Dow Jones Index rose about 0.6%.

The last few weeks of the year are usually strong periods of the market, and the so-called Santa Claus rally usually creates a happy holiday for Wall Street. The S&P 500 index has risen 25% so far this year.

“I think we may be in a normal state of the market in the next few weeks until we enter the next [Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee] Said Ma Rongyu, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management. I think it will be advantageous. “

“I think the possibility of re-adjusting, reconsidering or re-evaluating the market is most likely to be announced in the FOMC [Dec. 15]. Until then, we will have more of what we already know,” Ma added.

Friday also marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, as investors will look for insights from Black Friday to determine the sentiment of American consumers.

In this earnings season, retail stocks fluctuated violently in both directions. On Wednesday, the shares of Gap and Nordstrom fell by more than 20%, but Kohl’s rose by more than 10% a week ago after reporting strong sales growth.

Retail executives talked about how they manage supply chain issues and inflation this quarter. It remains to be seen whether discussions surrounding supply chain issues will cause consumers to start holiday shopping early, which may affect sales in the fourth quarter.

Sarah Henry, the portfolio manager of Logan Capital Management, said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the dynamic during the holidays.” She added that her company is looking for companies with long-term strategic advantages, rather than trying to bet. Note the best holiday sales results.

We also saw several strong economic reports on Wednesday. Personal income and consumer spending in October were higher than expected, and the number of first-time jobless claims reached the lowest level since 1969. However, the core PCE, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator, remained at a high level of 4.1%.

No important economic data was released on Friday. Due to the weekend holiday, the stock market will close at 1pm Eastern Time on Friday.

— Eustance Huang of CNBC contributed to this report.


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