New COVID Variant Spooking Investors, Causing Ripple Effect Across Markets

• 7 min read
New COVID Variant Spooking Investors, Causing Ripple Effect Across Markets


WHO calls special meeting to discuss new Covid variant found in South Africa with ‘a large number of mutations’
The World Health Organization is monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations to the spike protein, officials said Thursday.

What You Need To Know

WHO called a special meeting Friday to discuss a new Covid variant found in South Africa with a large number of mutations. The variant, called B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa in small numbers. South African scientists have detected 30 mutations to the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to cells in the body, which could have implications for vaccine efficacy and transmissibility.

Bitcoin Retreats 20% From Record, Joining Risk-Asset Sell-Off
Bitcoin tumbled 20% from the record high it notched earlier this month as a potentially worrisome new variant of the coronavirus spurred traders to dump risk assets across the globe.

What You Need To Know

Bitcoin enters bear market territory as major cryptocurrencies tumble amid concern about a new COVID variant. Bitcoin tumbled 20% from record highs notched earlier this month. The world’s largest token fell as much as 7.5% to $54,430.35 in Friday trading in London. Ether, the second-largest digital currency, dropped 9%, while the wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index dropped 4%. A new variant identified in Southern Africa spurred liquidations across markets with European stocks falling the most since July while emerging markets slumped.

Oil Prices Drop to 2-month Lows as New COVID-19 Variant Puts Markets on Edge
Overnight headlines about the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa seem to have spooked investors, with a risk-off pulse sending global shares and U.S. stock futures tumbling, and safe-havens like U.S. Treasurys and gold benefiting from the outflows.

What You Need To Know

Oil prices plunged more than 5% in early trading on Nov. 26, hitting a two-month low as the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant spooked investors, driving down risk assets like stocks and pushing up havens like gold and bonds. Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 5.8 percent to $77.49 a barrel by 6:43 am New York time, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down around 6.0 percent, at $73.33 a barrel.

More Chips Will Be Made in America Amid a Global Spending Surge
Investment in U.S. chip production is on the rise. But so, too, is semiconductor spending elsewhere.

What You Need To Know

More chips will be made in America in the coming years. Investment in U.S. chip production is on the rise. But so too, is semiconductor spending elsewhere. Samsung Electronics Co.’s planned $17 billion chip factory in Texas is expected to crank out top-end semiconductors that are essential to 5G cellular networks, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence. It follows hefty bets on U.S. soil by Intel Corp., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., and Texas Instruments Inc. The investments promise to boost America’s production foothold in advanced chip making.

Gold loses shine on Friday but ekes out slight gain amid investor panic over new COVID variant
Gold prices lose some ground on Friday but end the session slightly higher, as investors reposition amid concerns about highly contagious new COVID strain.

What You Need To Know

Gold surges, climbing back above $1,800 as investors look for a safe haven amid the new COVID variant. December gold soared $24.60, or 1.4%, to $1,808.90 an ounce, moving back above the psychologically important level of $1,800. They settled up 50 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $1,784.30 an ounce on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Gold jumped as U.S. stock futures and equities in Asia and Europe tumbled on news of the discovery of a new COVID variant in South Africa with a high level of mutations.

Quantum Computing Remains Mostly Promise, but Maybe Not for Long. How to Play It.
Quantum computing remains mostly promise, but maybe not for long. IBM now has more than 20 quantum computers working to solve big problems.

What You Need To Know

IBM is one of the companies leading the way in quantum computing, which offers a way to break through the limitations of so-called classical computing. IBM now has more than 20 quantum computers online, running more than two billion “quantum circuits” a day. Automaker Daimler (DAI.Germany) is experimenting with quantum computing techniques for battery development for future electric vehicles. The Cleveland Clinic is actually installing its own IBM quantum computer for research on pathogens, among other things.

2 Innovative Mobile Gaming Stocks to Buy Right Now | The Motley Fool
When it comes to global gaming revenue, consoles and computers are falling behind mobile games. That makes these two companies potential winners for your portfolio.

What You Need To Know

Mobile games have quietly grown to make up the majority of gaming industry revenue. They're expected to generate $90.7 billion of the industry's $175.8 billion total revenue in 2021. Sea Limited is on track to grow its revenues by over 800% since 2018 and in 2022, Sea Limited is on track to enter 11-figure territory with $13 billion in expected revenue, in yet another milestone. Meanwhile, Wall Street thinks shares of Skillz could rise by 140% from today's price. Skillz secured a deal with the NFL earlier this year to run a competition among game developers, who will battle to produce a football-themed mobile game.

2 Lithium Stocks You Can Buy Right Now to Play the EV Boom | The Motley Fool
These lithium stocks could race ahead if they deliver on their growth plans.

What You Need To Know

A boom in electric vehicles is expected to drive the bulk of demand for lithium. Global demand for lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) is projected to grow more than eightfold from just about 0.3 million metric tons in 2020 to 2.5 million metric tons by 2030, driven almost entirely by demand for battery-grade lithium. Albemarle has solid lithium assets, an incredibly strong foothold in the industry, and the financial standing making it a top lithium stock to bet on. Meanwhile, Lithium Americas is about to acquire Canada's Millennial Lithium in an all-stock deal worth $400 million,  which could send its stock soaring, says Motley Fool's Neha Chamaria.

Fed stands ready to accelerate tapering of mortgage buys
Fed policymakers are prepared to adjust the pace of asset purchases if inflation continues to run hot, minutes of their Nov. 3 meeting show.

What You Need To Know

Fed stands ready to accelerate tapering of mortgage purchases. Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s last meeting released Wednesday reveal that some policymakers are worried that the current plan to phase out the Fed’s $120 billion in monthly debt purchases by June is too cautious. Inflation hawks on the committee want to accelerate tapering in January, which would give the Fed leeway to start raising the short-term federal funds rate before June if needed.

New home sales hit 6-month high
New home sales in October increased by a modest 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 745,000 following a furious September.

What You Need To Know

New home sales hit a 6-month high. After increasing by double digits in September 2021, sales of new single-family homes slowed significantly in October, rising by a modest 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 745,000, the U. S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Wednesday. However, that modest increase in sales allowed the number of new home sales to hit their highest level since April 2021.

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