Markets set to open higher after Christmas holiday weekend

Wall Street

Santa Claus rally?

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a positive start for Wall Street on Monday, as traders piled back into the market fearful of missing out, particularly as we get near the end of the trading year and time period commonly known as the Santa Claus rally.

As of 5:40 a.m. ET, futures for the Dow Jones jumped 23 points, or 0.06% to 35,855. S&P 500 futures rose 8.75 points, or 0.19% to 4,724.5 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up 42.25 points, or 0.26% to 16,341.25.

The Santa Claus rally is a seasonally bullish trend that occurs in the last five trading days of the year and the first two of the New Year.

According to data compiled by Bank of America, since 1928, the widely-followed S&P 500 index has rallied in that period 78.5% of the time.

Crude futures slide as airlines cancel thousands of flights

In energy markets, crude futures fell early Monday after concerns about the omicron Covid-19 prompted the cancellation of about 8,000 flights globally between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

According to FlightAware, a total of 957 flights, including domestic flights and those into or out of the US, were called off on Christmas Day, up from 690 on Christmas Eve.

United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ: UAL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) were among those that canceled flights on both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve after a crew member tested positive for Covid-19.

More than 2,400 flights were disrupted globally on Sunday, including over 800 that were to or from the US.

As of 5:40 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 85 cents, or 1.15% to $72.94 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures dropped 2 cents, or 0.03% to $75.77 a barrel.

FDA grants EUA to Roche’s Covid-19 at-home test

In other news, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of Roche (OTCQX: RHHBY) at-home Covid-19 test.

The test, which uses a nasal swab and gives results in as few as 20 minutes, will become available in January. In a study, the test was found to have a relative specificity of 100% and a relative sensitivity of 95.3%.

Roche said it has the capacity to produce tens of millions of tests per month to help support the pandemic response.

The EUA comes just days after President Joe Biden announced a plan to buy 500 million rapid Covid-19 tests that will be distributed for free to Americans who want them beginning next month.