Stock bulls are eager to move past the recent jitters surrounding the new Omicron Covid variant with data from South Africa suggesting the strain causes milder symptoms than other variants.

Bullish factors

Experts warn, however, that the data pool is relatively small as Omicron was only detected a few weeks ago. While a larger data set could come to a different conclusion, the early findings are encouraging and investors seem content for the moment rotating back into some of the so-called “reopening” stocks like airlines, hotels, and live entertainment that have gotten beaten up recently. 

Vaccine makers are expected to begin releasing data regarding effectiveness against the new variant over the next week or two.

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Bulls are also encouraged by news that China’s central bank is making moves to boost its sluggish economy which has suffered from an energy crunch and fallout in the property sector, as well as extreme Covid measures that have weighed on both industrial output and consumer consumption. Inflation, particularly across the manufacturing sector, is also blamed for keeping a lid on China’s growth with the country’s producer price index in October climbing at the fastest pace in at least 25 years.

Data to watch

November data, which will be released overnight Wednesday, is expected to show a pullback in factory-gate prices. Many economists believe that climbing manufacturing prices in China have contributed to overall global inflation pressures as the country exports so much of its industrial output. China’s global trade surplus hit record levels in October.

Bears are now worried that we could see increased trade tensions between the worlds top two economies now that the U.S. formally announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics that are scheduled to start in Beijing in less than 60-days. Though American athletes will still be able to compete US officials will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games. Such a snub by prominent Western leaders and other governments following this lead could really get China fired up so pay close attention.

Today, here at home, U.S. data includes International Trade in Goods, with analysts expecting a slowdown in U.S. imports. That in turn could be viewed as good news for inflation as slowing consumer demand could go a long way in easing supply chain pressures. At the same time, if imports drop too dramatically it could fan worries about the health of U.S. consumers which have so far not shown signs of reining in spending amid the current inflationary trends and widespread shortages of goods. Productivity and Costs and Consumer Credit are also due today. On the earnings front, highlights today include Autozone, Casey’s General Stores, ChargePoint, and Stitch Fix.

New York Becomes First U.S. City to Mandate Covid-19 Vaccination for Private-Sector Workers. The new measure will go into effect Dec. 27 and will cover about 184,000 businesses. New York will also require children ages 5-11 to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness.

What Do Traders Have To Know About Today’s Stock Market Rise? by Inna Rosputnia

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