- ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,198.00
- Dow Average down 0.3% to 35,811.70
- Aussie little changed at 0.7170 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield fell 3.6bps to 1.4224%
- Australia 3-year bond yield rose 6bps to 0.97%
- Australia 10-year bond yield rose 0.6bps to 1.57%
- Gold spot up 1.1% to $1,796.86
- Brent futures up 1.0% to $74.64/bbl
Technology companies drove stocks down on speculation that rate hikes will reduce the appeal of the highly valued industry that has powered the bull market in equities.
Even with the weakness on Thursday, tech shares remain among the most-notable outperformers of 2021. Valuations have soared to levels last seen during the dot-com bubble, with Apple recently approaching what would be a historic $3 trillion market capitalization. While the outlook for rate hikes threatens the industry’s appeal, several analysts expect the group to still do well due to its strong earningspotential.
Meantime, policy makers are weighing measures to fight price pressures while balancing risks to growth. The European Central Banktemporarily boosted regular monthly bond buying for half a year to smooth the exit from crisis stimulus. The pound gained as the Bank of England unexpectedly raised rates. The announcements followed Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to accelerate the pace at which it tapers asset purchases, while projecting rate hikes through 2024.
It’s a strange time to work for Omicron Granite & Tile in Ohio. Or Omicron Sensing, an electrical manufacturer in Mumbai. Or the Omicron Family Restaurant in Wisconsin. And then there’s being a member of one of the various fraternities, sororities and honor societies whose names feature an “Omicron” — maybe more so if there’s also a “Delta” in there.
In May, the World Health Organization announced that it would start naming certain variants of the coronavirus after Greek letters. “Delta” is easier to remember than B.1.617.2. But if your business has an “Omicron” in its name, you might wish more people were talking about the B.1.1.529 variant.
The question is, do you embrace the connection?
Some organizations are meeting the naming overlap with benign curiosity or humor.
Tara Singer, the president and chief executive of the Omicron Delta Kappa honors society, said she was not concerned about the public relations impact of the Omicron variant on her organization. “Delta Air Lines weathered this well, so we will, too,” she said in a phone interview.
The Omicron Family Restaurant in West Bend, Wis., is taking the double puns of Omicron and Corona one step further. Last Friday, it began offering a bottle of Corona beer with a T-shirt that reads, “I Got Corona at Omicron” for $15.