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Indices in wall street are lower today after news of a AT&T and Discovery merger

U.S. Markets React to Positive Omicron News, Elon Musk Ceases to Sell Tesla Shares & UK’s GDP Shows Slowing Growth

S&P 500 rallies on positive Omicron news

Indices in the United States were higher on Wednesday, as data from South Africa painted a better than expected picture about the Omicron variant.

Almost a month after the new variant was found, a study conducted by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, found that this variant was less severe than previous strains.

💡Why is it difficult to predict death rates with Omicron?
Early studies have shown that Omicron’s behavior differs from Delta as statistically there hasn’t been an increase in deaths as cases rise. As strange as it sounds, early data shows that unlike the Delta variant, deathrates seem to drop with Omicron. A long-term study is needed to verify this information, so for now we should hope the numbers stay as they are.

According to the NICD, “Compellingly, together our data really suggest a positive story of a reduced severity of Omicron compared to other variants”.

Cherly Cohen, who led the study added that, “What is unclear is whether the picture will be similar in countries where there are high levels of vaccination but very low levels of previous infection”.

The S&P 500 was trading 0.74%% higher as of the close.

Tesla stock higher, as Musk confirms he is finished selling

On Wednesday, Tesla shares traded higher, as CEO Elon Musk stated that he does not plan to sell any more company stock.

Musk sold close to 14 million shares of the company he founded, after holding a twitter poll in November, where he asked his followers to vote if he should liquidate some stock.

According to Musk, the move was made in order to fulfil some tax obligations, after being criticised by Bernie Sander’s for contributing more to these efforts.

Speaking today, Musk stated that, “I sold enough stock to get to around 10% plus the option exercise stuff and I tried to be extremely literal here”.

At the close, $TSLA was trading 7.49% higher and showing a further gain in after-hours trading of 0.29%.

FTSE 100 higher, despite slowing GDP growth

In the United Kingdom, it was reported that GDP had grown by less than previously stated in Q3.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that gross domestic product rose by 1.1% during the third quarter of this year.

This was weaker than initial estimates of a 1.3% growth rate in the world’s fifth largest economy and came before the current news of the Omicron variant.

💡CBI revises forecasted growth
The Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s leading business lobby group, said in June that it expected the economy to expand by 8.2%.

But on Monday it cut that prediction to 6.9% and revised down its 2022 forecast from 6.9% to 5.1%.

Markets now expect a weak Q4 from the UK, who today registered 106,122 new COVID-19 cases, the largest daily rise on record.

London’s FTSE 100 closed 0.61% higher on the day.

 “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

– John Maynard Keynes

Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst