U.S. stock futures rise following Friday’s omicron-sparked selloff

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U.S. stock futures rose late Sunday, following a steep selloff Friday sparked by fears of the global economic impact of a worrisome new strain of COVID-19.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
YM00,
+0.58%
gained about 160 points, or 0.5%, as of 8:30 p.m. Eastern. S&P 500 futures
ES00,
+0.81%
and Nasdaq-100 futures
NQ00,
+1.04%
also showed solid gains.

Crude oil futures also rebounded Sunday from a Friday plunge, with benchmark U.S. crude
CLF22,
+4.93%
and Brent crude
BRNF22,
+4.32%,
the international benchmark, jumping roughly 4% higher.

On Friday, Wall Street suffered its worst day in more than a year amid growing concerns over the new omicron variant of COVID-19. The World Health Organization’s technical advisory group on Friday declared it a “variant of concern,” and a number of countries imposed flight bans from countries in southern Africa, where the variant was first discovered.

Little is known about omicron, but investors Friday braced for bad news.

Read: U.S. health officials urge caution, but not panic, over omicron variant

In a holiday-shortened session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-2.53%
slumped 905.04 points, or 2.5%, to 34,899.34, with the index logging its worst daily drop since Oct. 28, 2020, according to FactSet data. The S&P 500 
SPX,
-2.27%
 fell 106.84 points, or 2.3%, to 4,594.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-2.23%
 sank 353.57 points, or 2.2%, to 15,491.66.

“The pandemic and COVID variants remain one of the biggest risks to markets, and are likely to continue to inject volatility over the next year(s),” Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer and chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services, wrote in a Friday note. “It’s hard to say at this point how lasting or impactful this latest variant will be for markets.”

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