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Remedies for Omicron Apparent, Markets Up Again

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

More data out this morning suggests that current remedies developed for Covid-19 — vaccines, from Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) , Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE - Free Report) (BNTX - Free Report) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) — are effective against the new, highly transferrable Omicron variant. This morning, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla claimed the booster shot restores resistance to Omicron. The results are reportedly similar to two doses fighting older strains of the coronavirus.

Dr Scott Gottlieb — former FDA Commissioner and current board member for Pfizer and Illumina (ILMN - Free Report) — this morning spoke on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that, although we’re looking at non-peer-reviewed preliminary data, studies show a good response of three Covid vaccine shots — two initial doses plus a booster — neutralize the Omicron variant. “We have the tools to deal with” the airborne Covid variant, Gottlieb said.

We also have anti-viral medications coming down the pike from Pfizer and Merck (MRK - Free Report) , which will help those who come in contact with Covid in the future to reduce the worst symptoms of the disease. All of these are helping people cope with the Covid pandemic as it continues to manifest itself around the world. Here in the U.S., we’ve spent a lot of time considering those Americans resistant to getting vaccinated, but in certain places around the world — South Africa, for example — vaccines are not even available to most citizens. Thus, the coronavirus has, and will continue to have, ample means to express itself in varying forms.

These forms appear to be growing more highly infectious, if not necessarily more life-threatening. This would lead us to understand that Covid-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. The trick, then, would be to find ways to make it less detrimental to our lives. These vaccines and anti-virals appear to do this.

As a result, our December rally continues, in slightly muted form, this morning: the Dow is +20 points, the Nasdaq +5 and the S&P 500 +3 points. These are melting from earlier levels, which saw more robust ventures into the green, following 3%+ in the last two days (on the S&P) and leveling off back near all-time highs. It would seem market participants are treading carefully at these levels, although this morning’s news reports may give license for them to break out higher from here.

After the opening bell, we get new data on Job Openings and Jobs Quits for October. Openings are expected to rise to 10.6 million from the 10.4 million previously reported. Other than this, we’re pretty light on economic and earnings data. GameStop (GME - Free Report) reports after the bell, expected to report another loss per share while the stock stays above 900% year to date. It’s still good to be a meme stock.

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