By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Wednesday, continuing the recent rally after Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) said its booster shot, in conjunction with the previous two doses, can nullify the Omicron variant.
Fresh gains are expected on Wall Street Wednesday after the U.S. drugmaker, and its partner BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX ), stated Wednesday that three doses of their vaccine are effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant.
In the first official statement from vaccine manufacturers on the likely efficacy of their shot against Omicron, BioNTech and Pfizer said in a joint statement that two vaccine doses resulted in significantly lower neutralizing antibodies but that a third dose of their vaccine increased the neutralising antibodies by a factor of 25. Preliminary findins from South Africa, where the variant was first detected, earlier showed a significant drop in neutralizing antibodies in patients with only two vaccine doses.
The major indices closed firmly higher on Tuesday, adding to Monday’s gains, as public health officials said it appeared the new Omicron strain was not as deadly as previous variants. This is seen as reducing the chances of further lockdowns in the U.S. which would damage the current rebound in economic activity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied almost 500 points, or 1.4%, on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted their best days since March, gaining 2.1% and 3%, respectively. The DJIA is now 2.3% from its record peak, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are just 1.2% and 3.2% from their all-time highs, respectively.
That said, the news surrounding the Covid virus was not all good Wednesday, with reports suggesting that the U.K. government is about to reintroduce social distancing restrictions prompting more uncertainty.
Away from Covid news, investors are likely to start focusing once more on the Federal Reserve’s intentions ahead of next week’s meeting, especially after the central bank recently signalled a faster monetary tightening.
The number of job openings is likely to have fallen again in October, with economists calling for 10.369 million in the month, down from 10.438 million in September.
In terms of corporate news, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) is likely to be in the spotlight Wednesday after thousands of users of the online retail giant’s services suffered an outage during the previous session.
Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD ) will also be in focus after the online trading platform announced it is seeking a termination of the resale of its shares by certain investors, potentially removing a near-term overhang.
Crude prices pushed higher Wednesday, continuing the week’s strong gains, ahead of the release of the latest crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration , due at 10:30 AM ET.
The equivalent numbers from the American Petroleum Institute , released on Tuesday, showed a draw of a surprisingly large drop in crude stocks of over 3 million barrels last week.
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