Stock market today
Omicron variant fears and Fed Chair comments on tapering caused a selloff today for the US stock market. The closing numbers for the US stock market today are:
S&P 500: 4,567.00,-88.27(-1.90%)
Dow 30: 34,483.72,-652.22(-1.86%)
Russell 2000: 2,198.98,-43.00(-1.92%)
Stock market news
“Stocks dropped on Tuesday as volatility resumed after a brief rebound earlier this week, with investors contemplating the impacts of a new coronavirus variant and new comments Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq declined. The Dow, a proxy for cyclical stocks, underperformed against the other two major indexes, dropping more than 400 points, or over 1.2%, intraday on Tuesday. U.S. crude oil prices (CL=F) dropped 4%. And shares of airlines, cruise lines and lodging companies considered to be some of the most exposed to virus-related disruptions each sank in early trading to reverse Monday’s gains.
Investors reacted to Fed Chair Powell’s latest remarks before the Senate Banking Committee, wherein Powell said the central bank could speed up its tapering process to end sooner than previously telegraphed in the face of rising inflationary pressures. The comments came even as some other market participants had expected the Fed to strike a more accommodative tone for longer in the face of the recently discovered Omicron variant.
“At this point the economy is very strong and inflation pressures are high, and it is therefore appropriate, in my view, to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner,” Powell said. “I expect we will discuss that at our upcoming meeting.”
A host of less upbeat new commentary from major coronavirus vaccine-makers also contributed to the selling pressure. Moderna (MRNA) CEO Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times that the company’s current COVID-19 vaccine would likely see a “material drop” in effectiveness against the Omicron variant, while noting more data was needed to see any extent of the decline. Separately, Pfizer’s (PFE) CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC he didn’t “think that the result will be the vaccines don’t protect,” but that “the result could be, which we don’t know yet, the vaccines protect less.”
Stock market data: Yahoo Finance