US open: Stocks extend gains on Pfizer 3 shot optimism

Pfizer reports that 3 shots of its COVID vaccine with BioNTech neutralises Omicron. But can governments beat the virus in a race to booster jabs?

USA (2)

US futures

Dow futures +0.13% at 35780

S&P futures +0.13% at 4694

Nasdaq futures +0.6% at 16331

In Europe

FTSE +0.18% at 7355

Dax -0.6% at 15728

Euro Stoxx -0.5% at 4257

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The booster race begins

US stocks are pointing to a mildly higher open, adding to strong gains in the previous session. News that 3 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID vaccine neutralizes Omicron is helping to keep the market mood buoyant for another session.

In the first official statement from vaccine manufacturers on efficacy against Omicron, Pfizer & BioNtech said that the two doses of the vaccine resulted in lower neutralizing antibodies. With Omicron demanding 3 doses the race is on for governments to ramp up the booster jab rollout. However, given how contagious the new variant appears to be there are doubts over whether the race can be one without further lockdowns. The British government is considering implementing measures to stem the spread of the virus; news which is taking the shine off the Pfizer announcement.

Looking ahead JOLTS job opening data could help to swing attention back towards the Fed ahead of Friday’s inflation numbers.

Where next for the Dow Jones?

The Dow has been extending its rebound from33950 the December low. Having retaken the 50  & 100 sma the move higher appears to be running out of steam. The Dow has rallied over 3.3% across the past two sessions. Even so it would take a move below 33950 for the bullish bias to change to bearish.

Dow chart

FX – USD rebounds, GBP drops on lockdown fears

The USD is clawing back earlier losses following the Pfizer news. Should 3 jabs of Pfizer neutralize Omicron, the economic recovery can continue and the Fed could hike rates faster.

GBP/USD trades lower, underperforming peers, amid growing speculation that the British government could bring in Plan B, soon. Plan B would mean imposing a new wave of COVID restrictions, potentially derailing the economic recovery. Reports indicate that the Government’s COVID-O subcommittee will meet later today to discuss.

GBP/USD -0.37% at 1.3196

EUR/USD +0.24% at 1.1291


Oil pauses for breath

Oil prices are holding steady just a few points higher on Wednesday after surging over 8% across the start of the week. Investors are assessing the latest Omicron headlines in order to piece together the potential impact to global growth and the oil demand outlook for oil. Whilst news the 3 doses of Pfizer neutralize Omicron supports oil prices this is being balanced our with headlines that the UK could see COVID measures tightened including working from home.

Oil barely reacted to API stockpile data which showed that stock piles fell last week whilst gasoline inventories rose.

WTI crude trades +0.3% at $71.94

Brent trades +0.2% at $75.66

Learn more about trading oil here.


Looking ahead

15:00 US JOLTS job openings

15:00 BoC rate decision

15:30 EIA crude oil inventories




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