U.S. inventory futures rise following Friday’s omicron-sparked selloff

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US stock futures rose late Sunday after a sharp sell-off on Friday sparked by fears over the global economic impact of a worrying new strain of COVID-19.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures YM00, + 0.57% gained about 170 points, or 0.5%, at 7:30 p.m. East. S&P 500 Futures ES00, + 0.78% and Nasdaq-100 Futures NQ00, + 1.02% also showed solid gains.

Crude oil futures also rebounded on Sunday from a slump on Friday, with the benchmark US crude CLF22 + 5.08% and Brent crude BRNF22 + 4.46%,
the international benchmark, jumping.

On Friday, Wall Street experienced its worst day in more than a year amid growing concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) technical advisory group on Friday declared it a “worrying variant,” and a number of countries banned flights from countries in southern Africa where the variant was first discovered.

Little is known about Omicron, but investors were expecting bad news on Friday.

Read: US health officials urge caution, but not panic, with the Omicron variant

In a session curtailed to holidays, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA plunged -2.53% 905.04 points, or 2.5%, to 34,899.34, with the index showing its largest daily decline since Dec. 28, according to FactSet data. October 2020. The S&P 500 SPX, -2.27%, fell 106.84 points, or 2.3%, to 4,594.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -2.23%, fell 353.57 points, or 2.2% to 15,491.66.

“The pandemic and COVID variants remain one of the greatest risks to the markets and are likely to continue to create volatility for the next few years,” wrote Keith Lerner, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Chief Market Strategist at Truist Advisory Services in a Friday note. “It is currently difficult to say how sustainable or effective this latest variant will be for the markets.”

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