US stocks rebound after Friday’s Omicron fuelled sell-off

Share prices were battered during Friday’s trading session after the WHO called Omicron a ‘variant of concern’ and countries tightened travel restrictions.

The major US stock indexes all opened higher on Monday as bargain hunters helped claw back losses from Friday's sharp sell-off [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

The major stock indexes in the United States rebounded on Monday after fears about the potential economic impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant triggered a steep sell-off on Friday.

At the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 118 points or 0.34 percent at 35,017.71, according to Refinitiv data.

The S&P 500 – a proxy for the health of US retirement and college savings accounts – ticked up 34 points or 0.74 percent at the start of trading in New York. And the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index opened 227 points or 1.47 percent higher.

Share prices were battered during Friday’s trading session – which was shortened due to the Thanksgiving holiday – after the World Health Organization called Omicron a “variant of concern” and countries tightened travel restrictions.

The Dow lost 905 points on Friday, marking its worse session since October 2020.

But a turnaround was in progress on Monday morning, as investors used Friday’s sell-off as a buying opportunity.

That was evident in energy shares, which took a beating on Friday only to lead Monday’s charge higher.

Travel shares including airlines and cruise operators were also getting a lift from bargain hunters.

And shares of vaccine makers Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and BioNTech partner Pfizer and were getting a boost after the drug makers said they are working to adapt their COVID-19 jabs to the Omicron variant.

Moderna’s CEO told business news outlet CNBC that it could be months before a new Omicron-specific jab is ready to “ship in massive quantities”.

Also moving on Monday: Shares of Twitter gained more than 5 percent in the opening minutes of trading in New York after CNBC reported that Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is expected to step down. But trade in the social media platform was halted pending news.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies