Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, December 28:
1. -- Stock Futures Edge Higher In Cautious Trading
U.S. equity futures extended gains Tuesday, as the S&P 500 rides its best four-day win streak since November, amid investor optimism that the current spread of Omicron infections with have a short-lived impact on the global economy.
Studies suggesting the new variant carries milder symptoms, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to shorten isolation times for those infected to five days from ten, has added to solid December gains for stocks on Wall Street.
Further support also came Tuesday from Europe, where governments in Britain and France declined to impose new restrictions on businesses and individual despite soaring case numbers and accelerating hospitalizations.
On Wall Street, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating an 80 point opening bell gain, while those linked to the S&P 500 are priced for a 12 point advance from last night's record close of 4,791.19 points.
The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite is looking to open 85 points higher as benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields hold at 1.472% in overnight trading.
2. -- Apple
Stores on Fifth Avenue, SoHo and Grand Central Station will continue to allow curbside pickup of online orders, Apple said, but will be close to indoor shoppers as of Tuesday. The decision follows the return of a customer mask mandate earlier this month for the world's biggest tech company.
Covid hospitalizations in New York state topped 5,500 over the Christmas week, a level last seen in February, with daily case counts nearing 50,000.
"We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust both our health measures and store services to support the wellbeing of customers and employees," Apple said in a statement.
Apple shares were marked 0.4% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $181.05 each.
3. -- Flights/Fauci
U.S. airline stocks are mixed in pre-market trading after the nation's top infectious disease expert suggests a vaccine mandate may be needed for domestic flights.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC it was "reasonable to consider" such a mandate, given the recent surge in infections following the identification of Omicron late last month. He later told CNN that it was something he didn't expect to see "in the reasonable foreseeable future."
The comments rattled investors, however, following another day of cancellations and delays across the country, with some 1,600 flights scrubbed as a result of Covid-related staff shortages and severe winter weather.
United Airlines (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report shares were marked 0.5% higher in pre-market trading, indicating an opening bell price of $44.81 each, while Delta Air Lines (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report fell 0.1% to $38.97 and American Airlines (AAL) - Get American Airlines Group, Inc. Report slipped 0.05% to $18.15 each.
4. -- Tesla
Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares moved higher in pre-market trading after analysts at Wedbush published a note maintaining their 'outperform' rating on the stock and arguing that China demand will remain a 'lynchpin' in the carmaker's near-term growth.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, who carries a base target price on Tesla stock of $1,400, with a bull case target of $1,800, said China will account for around 40% of the carmaker's deliveries in 2022, adding that new gigafactories in Texas and Germany will ease the company's "high-class problem of demand outstripping supply” over the coming years.
“We believe by the end of 2022 Tesla will have the capacity for overall ~2 million units annually from roughly 1 million today,” Ives wrote
Tesla shares were marked 1.05% higher in pre-market trading Tuesday to indicate an opening bell price of $1,105.48 each.
5. -- Boeing
Boeing (BA) - Get Boeing Company Report shares edged higher in pre-market trading after officials in Indonesia cleared the planemaker's 737 Max for a return to service following a crash in October of 2018.
The Lion Air Flight disaster, which killed 189 passengers and crew, was followed by a similar incident in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people, and ultimately resulted in the global grounding of the aircraft and a complete overhaul of its flight navigation system.
Indonesia' transport ministry said the decision was effective immediately, and marked one of the final clearance hurdles for the workhorse jet in a major aircraft market, with China's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAC) issuing an "airworthiness directive" earlier this month.
Boeing shares were marked 0.18% higher in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $203.54 each.