The CDC now says the Omicron variant accounts for 73% of U.S. COVID cases. According to Yahoo Finance, this surge is causing a cloudy outlook for 2022. Americans are now watching to see the impacts the variant will have on the economy moving forward. “…We know full well that much of the economic impact will depend more on the reaction to Omicron in terms of government shutdowns and the change in human behavior in response,” veteran Wall Street watcher Peter Boockvar at Bleakley Advisory Group wrote on Monday. In other news, a rebound in the crude oil market and a weaker U.S. dollar index helped gold and silver prices rebound on Tuesday.
Yahoo Finance/Javier E. David
Omicron is already darkening the 2022 outlook: Morning Brief
“Omi-whatever” sure didn’t last long.
A couple of weeks ago, Bloomberg’s catchy headline and pull quote appeared to sum up a market that had decided to move beyond the latest COVID-19 variant.
That sentiment figured prominently in a piece written on December 10 by yours truly, in which I detailed the manifold ways in which a general public — weary of the pandemic — had begun to calibrate their risks of contracting the virus against a desire to move about freely.
Judging by moviegoers that turned out in droves to see Marvel’s latest cinematic opus, running the risk that “Spider-Man” could become a super-spreader event, the impulse for most citizens to live with the virus, and mitigate its risks as best as they can, is still fundamentally intact.
Yet fast forward a couple of weeks, and it’s clear that Omicron is making its presence felt in a big way, as swaths of the country brace for a wave that’s already engulfing New York. The resurgent jitters walloped stocks on Monday, and amplified worries that the apparent demise of President Joe Biden’s signature domestic initiative may be a drag on 2022 growth.
It’s not even Jan. 1, yet the mutation is already clouding the outlook for next year.
Keep reading the story, here.
Kitco News/Jim Wyckoff
Price rebounds for gold, silver; risk aversion recedes
Gold and silver prices are up in early U.S. trading Tuesday, on corrective bounces after losses posted Monday. A rebound in the crude oil market today and a weaker U.S. dollar index are friendly outside market forces supporting the metals. However, the better risk appetite in the marketplace will likely limit further upside in the safe-haven metals today. February gold was last up $3.30 at $1,798.00 and March Comex silver was last up $0.469 at $22.76 an ounce.
Global stock markets were mostly higher in overnight trading. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward solidly higher openings when the New York day session begins. The global stock indexes are posting corrective bounces after Monday’s strong losses that were due mostly to worries about the pandemic starting to surge again. A look at the daily bar charts for the Nasdaq and S&P futures shows higher daily price volatility at higher price levels. That’s one warning signal of a topping process in a market and favors the bearish camp. Look for more daily increased price volatility in the near term, which could be amplified even more by thin holiday trading volumes in the coming days.
Continue reading, here.
Fox Business/Megan Henney
Hot inflation erasing Americans’ wage gains, analysis shows
The hottest inflation in nearly four decades is eroding wage gains for a majority of Americans working at the largest and most profitable companies in the country, according to a new analysis.
The findings from the Brookings Institute, a centrist think tank, found that soaring inflation has erased at least half of the average wage gains for frontline workers employed by 13 of the largest and most profitable retail, grocery and fast-food companies in the U.S.
While all but two of those 13 companies increased pay – sometimes significantly – for their employees since January 2020, inflation has risen faster: In November, the government reported that consumer prices jumped 6.8% from the previous year, the fastest pace in June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1%.
You can read the full story, here.