U.S. stocks got whipsawed on Wednesday after the CDC confirmed the first U.S. case of omicron in California.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 462 points or 1.3% surrendering gains of over 300 points earlier. While the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite sank 1.3% and 1.8%, respectively.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||34022.04||-461.68||-1.34%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||15254.052094||-283.64||-1.83%|
This as the VIX, the so-called fear index which measures volatility, spiked to the highest level since March.
|VXZ||BARCLAYS BANK PLC TRK ZT 23/01/48||28.25||+0.52||+1.88%|
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The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, released at 2 pm ET, showed several regions reported supply chain issues and bottlenecks as possible retraining economic growth.
“Supply-chain bottlenecks continued to drive up costs and prices rose” the statement noted.
During day two of his testimony to Congress, Powell insisted any acceleration of the tapering plans would not disrupt financial markets.
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In other economic news, ADP’s National Employment Report for November showed 534,000 jobs were created beating economist estimates of 525,000 and slightly less the 571,000 created in October. On Friday, the monthly report for November will be released.
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Oil prices also sank ahead of OPEC’s meeting where the cartel may decide on production targets following President Biden’s decision to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Crude is now sitting in a bear market, down over 20% from its October highs.
|USO||UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.||47.04||-0.87||-1.82%|
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 1.7%, to the $65 per barrel level.
ExxonMobil is also in focus after the oil giant said it expects to “double earnings and cash flow by 2027 versus 2019” following a $15 billion investment in greenhouse gas emission-reduction projects over the next six years.
|XOM||EXXON MOBIL CORP.||59.79||-0.05||-0.08%|
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In stocks, Salesforce announced CEO Marc Benioff will share his role with chief operating officer Bret Taylor who will become co-CEO. The tech giant also released third-quarter earnings, which showed $6.86 billion in sales – a 27% boost over the same quarter a year ago. However, the company’s revenue forecast fell short of analysts’ expectations and shares are on pace for the worst one day decline since December 2020 when it slide 8.5%
In other tech news, Apple shares continue to attract investor interest after rising to a fresh record even as stocks tumbled. Shares, which were higher for most of the session, closed marginally lower.
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Vaccine makers remain in focus as more intelligence rolls in on the impact omnicron may have on the broader global economy.
Moderna chairman Noubar Afeyan, telling FOX Business late Wednesday, advanced testing of vaccinations is in the works, including higher booster doses and implementing previous variants.
“We really do need to up the level of immunity to the virus,” he said. “We need to get the maximum protection possible” he stressed.
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||158.08||+2.15||+1.38%|
Homebuilders are moving on a call from Goldman Sachs. Analyst Susan Maklari upgraded Lennar while turning more cautious on D.R. Horton.
|DRI||DARDEN RESTAURANTS, INC.||136.66||-1.29||-0.94%|
And Build-a-Bear bucked the downtrend rising over 26% after the toy maker bumped up its revenue forecast for 2021 to as much as $400 million, above the prior range of $375 million to $385 million.
Other economic reports include the ISM’s manufacturing purchasing managers index for November edged to 61.0 from 60.8 in October. For context, A number above 50 signals expansion. And construction spending rose 0.2% in October after slipping half a percent the previous month.
FOX Business’ Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.