Stocks look set to climb on Thursday as fresh studies appear to indicate that the Omicron variant is significantly less dangerous than previous variants.
Dow futures were higher before trading began on Thursday after a trio of studies indicated the risk of serious illness and hospitalization from the new variant was significantly reduced. Scientists are still warning that the rapid spread of the virus could cause severe disruption, but investors appear optimistic, nonetheless.
Also improving investor sentiment was data from the US Commerce Department, which reported that the US economy improved at a better than expected rate in the third quarter.
With markets set to rise, it could be the case that the Santa Claus rally, which regularly sees stocks climb around Christmas, has come a little late this year.
Even so, investors will be keeping their eye out for US data on inflation, jobless claims and personal spending, which is all due this afternoon. Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, US markets will be closed.
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Here are some of today’s trending stocks:
Allokos (NASDAQ: ALLK) shares have tumbled after the biopharma company announced that two late-stage studies of lirentelimab, its sole clinical asset, resulted in the treatment falling well short of co-primary endpoints.
US regulators have begun investigating Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) over the fact that so-called ‘Passenger Play’ games can be played on the front centre screens of over half a million of the company’s vehicles while they are being driven.
TikTok competitor Triller is on course to go public through a reverse merger with Seachange International (NASDAQ: SEAC).
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has failed in its attempts to persuade the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its shareholders should not be able to vote on the reporting of the company’s use of non-disclosure agreements.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has apologised after a letter to its Chinese suppliers said they should not use labour or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government has allegedly conducted human rights abuses against a large population of Muslim Uighur people. Some Chinese media outlets and social media users have suggested boycotting the tech giant.
Pfizer (PFE) is the talk of the town once more after the US Food and Drug Administration approved its oral Covid-19 treatment.
These are a few of the big stories coming out of Asia:
Chinese tech and gaming giant Tencent (HK: 0700) will offer its investors the majority of its stake in ecommerce retailer JD.com (HK: 9618) as a $16.4bn dividend.
Shares in some travel stocks, such as Japan Airlines (TYO: 9201) were higher as Omicron studies gave hope that the new variant will not disrupt travel too much.
Today’s trending crypto news looks like this:
CoinDesk has reported that some sources have suggested that Indian cryptocurrency regulation legislation is not likely to be passed until May 2022.
Premier League Football club Arsenal has run into difficulties over the marketing campaign for its new crypto token offering. UK regulators have banned some promotions for the AFC tokens on the grounds that they are misleading.