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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."

Go deeper

Updated Dec 20, 2021 - Health

CDC: Omicron accounted for 23% of recent COVID-19 cases

People queue at a street-side COVID-19 testing booth in New York's Times Square on Dec. 20. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

The Omicron variant accounted for 22.5% of recent COVID-19 cases in the U.S. on the week that ended on Dec. 18 , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated estimate released on Dec. 28.

The latest: The revised data shows Omicron's share of COVID-19 infections nearly tripled in just one week.

Hope King, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

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