Boeing, travel stocks surge as investors shrug off omicron concerns

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  • Boeing, airlines and other travel companies rallied last week after falling sharply.
  • Investors appeared to brush off concerns about the new lockdown from the Omicron variant.
  • The edition led to a number of new travel restrictions in the US and abroad.

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Boeing, airlines and other travel stocks jumped on Monday after health experts shared early signs that the Omicron version of Covid Perhaps causing milder symptoms than previous strains.

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The travel sector was hit hard by the emergence of the Omicron variant, which was first reported by Botswana and South Africa late last month. Soon after rules for international travel were eased, cases were detected in countries around the world, with renewed travel restrictions and outright bans imposed.

White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN It said on Sunday that “although it is too early to make a definitive statement about this, so far it does not appear that there is much seriousness.” A report released on Saturday by the South African Medical Research Council suggested the strain could cause a minor infection.

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Boeing shares rose more than 3% in afternoon trading on Monday, while American Airlines and United Airlines were each up more than 10%, with top gainers in the S&P 500, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean. At the top were 12%. and 11%, respectively. Online travel agency Expedia was trading 8% higher than TAN.

World Health Organization officials on Friday, however, warned against reading too much into the data from the original cases in South Africa, saying it was still too early to understand the severity of the disease caused by Omicron. The initial reports of mild symptoms in the first few cases were based on a group of university students who tend to be younger and experience more mild symptoms than older adults, she said. He added that Americans and Europeans are also older and less healthy than the general population in South Africa.

“The initial report was that it was more mild, but it’s actually too soon,” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical head on COVID-19, said in a Q&A streamed on the group’s social media channels. “Everyone who is infected with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the type, will always start with a mild illness. And so it may end there with mild, some people definitely asymptomatic. But it may stop with mild illness or it may take some time.”

Air travel jumped over the Thanksgiving holiday week, handing airlines some of their busiest days since the pandemic began, though still shy of 2019 levels. Omicron sent shares bullish on concerns about declining demand.

Large network carriers are particularly reliant on long-haul international travel, which has been slower to return in the pandemic than US domestic travel.

-CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt

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