Dec 1, 2021 - Economy

Charted: Pandemic stock shocks ease

Data: S&P Dow Jones Indices; Chart: Will Chase/Axios
Data: S&P Dow Jones Indices; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Pandemic shocks have gotten easier for the stock market to stomach.

Driving the news: "Covid-related stock market drops are getting milder and shorter," as DealBook noted earlier this week. Bad pandemic news hasn't prompted nearly as much turmoil as the early days of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Omicron — Wall Street's new boogeyman — is the latest to put that to the test.

  • The S&P 500 saw the worst Black Friday on record when news of the variant trickled out last week.
  • For perspective, news of the variant sparked only the 27th worst one-day stock drop of the pandemic era, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices — putting plenty of other sell-offs (COVID-related or not) ahead of it.

Where it stands: After staging a comeback on Monday, those market gains disappeared yesterday.

  • The sell-off may have something to do with Moderna's warning that current vax shots may not be as effective against Omicron, hints that Fed will be taking its foot off the gas sooner, or some combination of both (or neither).

What they're saying: "So far, at least, this is a normal drawdown, one we see multiple times in a year," says Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial.

  • "Markets are supposed to do exactly what appears to be happening here ... pricing in some risks, some damage, but not the end of the world."
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