Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, December 17, 2021.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
Stock futures climbed in overnight trading Monday following a broad sell-off amid fears about the fast-spreading Covid omicron variant.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 140 points, S&P 500 futures rose 0.4% and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.6%.
The overnight action came after a losing day on Wall Street with low trading volume ahead of the holidays. The blue-chip Dow dropped more than 400 points for its third straight declining session. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both declined more than 1% Monday, and the S&P’s three-day drop of 3% was its worst such showing since September.
The omicron surge has kept investors on edge with the variant now found in at least 43 U.S. states and 90 countries. Officials with the World Health Organization said omicron is more contagious than any previous variant of Covid-19. It accounted for 73% of new infections in the U.S. last week, federal health officials said Monday.
Monday’s stock sell-off erased the S&P 500’s earlier gains in December, to flatline for the month; Dow is up about 1.3%, while the Nasdaq is down nearly 3.6% and is on pace to snap a two-month winning streak.
“As we head into the shortened holiday week amid surging omicron cases, continued supply chain pressures and the failure of the Build Back Better plan, increased volatility and thinner trading volumes could cause the market to overreact, which could be a buying opportunity in the run-up to Christmas,” said Mark Hackett, Nationwide’s chief of investment research.
Investors also assessed the prospect for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. The Senate will vote on Biden’s sweeping social safety net and climate policy bill in January, despite Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to it. It is unclear if Democrats will try to pass a smaller bill that includes only parts of the full package.