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* Travel, energy and banks lead market declines
* Indexes: Dow falls 0.64%, S&P down 0.30%, Nasdaq up 0.19%
Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 slipped on
Tuesday after a warning from vaccine maker Moderna's chief
executive on the effectiveness of COVID-19 shots against the
Omicron variant hammered travel, energy and banking shares.
Global equity markets tumbled as Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel
also told the Financial Times that it was likely the current
crop of vaccines would need to be modified.
Adding to the fears, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc
said its COVID-19 antibody treatment and other similar drugs
could be less effective against the Omicron variant.
U.S. stocks rebounded on Monday from Friday's deep sell-off,
as investors were hopeful that Omicron would not lead to
lockdowns after reassurances from U.S. President Joe Biden.
"The old adage that markets hate uncertainty couldn't be
more true and it's going toe to toe with another well-known
force, investors' love of dips," said Craig Erlam, senior market
"This whipsaw price action could become a regular feature
over the next couple of weeks as information on the variant
trickles out ... for now, markets will remain very sensitive to
indications that vaccines may not protect us this winter as much
as we hoped."
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors declined in early trading,
with energy and financials down more than 1%
Banks dropped 1.4%, tracking a dip in Treasury
yields as safe haven demand kept bond buying high.
Travel and leisure stocks slumped, with S&P 1500 Airlines
and the S&P 1500 Hotels, Restaurant and Leisure
indexes sliding 1.4% each.
The small-cap Russell 2000 index also fell 0.7%.
Uncertainty about the new coronavirus variant has triggered
fresh alarm at a time when supply chain logjams are weighing on
economic recovery and central banks globally are contemplating a
return to pre-pandemic monetary policy to tackle a surge in
At 10:11 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 223.55 points, or 0.64%, at 34,912.39, the S&P 500
was down 13.84 points, or 0.30%, at 4,641.43.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 29.75 points, or 0.19%,
at 15,812.57, lifted by gains in Apple Inc, Tesla Inc
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in his
prepared remarks, ahead of the testimony before U.S. Senate
Banking Committee, said, he continues to expect inflation to
recede over the next year, but warned that the new coronavirus
variant muddies the outlook, and prices could continue to rise
for longer than earlier thought.
Meanwhile, data showed a reading on consumer confidence fell
short of expectations in November.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.08-to-1
ratio on the NYSE and a 1.58-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and 17 new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 226 new lows.
(Reporting by Devik Jain and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)