Release the Omicron

Hey Influence Traders:


We’ve got a new player on the scene to kick off the holiday season and the name is …

Omicron!


Just a Greek letter, you say?


Oh, but it’s so much more.


We know almost nothing about it; but it has the power to move markets!


Omicron


We know it originated in South Africa.


It has now been spotted in Asia and Europe.


We know that it has the attention of the medical community because of the over 30 mutations of the spike protein.


Some are saying it could be a completely new form of COVID.


Thus far, reports are that the sickness is no more impactful than prior variants.


Reaction


The Biden administration will shut down travel from a half-dozen African countries starting Monday (there was no explanation regarding waiting until Monday).


As more cases arise in Europe, we can expect further travel restrictions to be implemented.


This will not bode well for international airlines which were starting to see business tick up.


New York Gov. Kathy “I Don’t Panic” Hochul declared a state of emergency … for something that is not yet in the US let alone the Empire State.


I can’t imagine that either issue will play well with the NY tourism bureau, which has been touting the return of tourists.


The market liked none of it and dropped over 900 points on Friday.


DC Take


The administration continues to press its case for passing the Build Back Better plan.


It also continues to fight the effect of inflation on the public’s acceptance of its agenda.


Over the weekend, President Biden very blatantly blamed the unvaccinated for Omicron, inflation (you read that right), and all things bad in the world that are keeping him from transforming the economy.


The irony of that blame is that the administration made the decision to push booster shots instead of sending more doses to countries in need, as requested by the World Health Organization.


But the simple fact is – this administration wholly miscalculated the impact of its policies on inflation and the public’s willingness to digest unfettered spending.


People are being hit at the pump and the grocery store like never before and they’ve had enough.


And there is only so much blame that can be tossed around before it lands squarely on the front lawn of the White House.


Oil Prices


A key metric of public sentiment is the price at the pump.


The admin, as seems to be a habit, is taking opposing steps to combat soaring gas prices.


It announced this week that it is working with China, India, Japan, Korea, and the UK to execute a “coordinated release of oil reserves" in an attempt to bring down prices.


Most economists believe the move will have a limited, short-term impact at best.


At the same time, the U.S. Department of the Interior is considering increasing fees that companies pay to drill on public lands under the government’s oil and gas leasing program.


One step forward; two steps …


Build Back Better


As the week kicks off, the Senate will potentially take up debate on the Build Back Better boondoggle bill.


It has to get through the Defense Act first.


It will be contentious with voter sentiment driving much of the reaction.


The admin is asking Democratic representatives and senators to do 2,000 meetings with constituents to teach them about the benefits of the plan.


The turkey hangover is officially ending!


Cutting through the noise for you,


Frank


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.