Global stocks were mixed and US futures edged to new all time highs as concerns over the Delta strain of Covid-19 spurred caution among investors. At 7:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.02% after topping a new all time high of 4,283 earlier, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 13 points, or 0.09%. The dollar strengthened and treasuries were steady while oil slipped and gold headed for the biggest monthly drop in more than four years.
While sentiment remains buoyant, investors are growing concerned by the latest evolution of the Delta variant, which is increasingly seen as a growing threat to the ongoing economic recovery in many areas, said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. Even if the economic impact is “unlikely to be significant” in developed countries, “the inconsistency in vaccination campaigns in other parts of the world is likely to lead to an uneven recovery,” he said.
Others echoed this sentiment: “The Delta variant has also emerged in our client conversations as a potential threat to reflation/inflation,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists led by Marko Kolanovic said. “The economic consequences are likely to be limited given progress on vaccinations across developed market economies. It could, however, pose some risk of a delay in the recovery in countries where vaccination rates remain lower.”