Stocks Edge Lower as Investors Look Ahead to Inflation Data—and What Else Is Happening in the Stock Market Today

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average looked set to open down 0.3%.

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Stocks were dipping Thursday as news of restrictions due to the Omicron Covid-19 variant emerged.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average looked set to open down 127 points, or 0.4%, with S&P 500 futures down 0.3% and Nasdaq Composite futures down 0.4%.

The U.K. is implementing new restrictions, including a work-from-home mandate and new mask guidelines.

Stocks often whip around in the short-term—rising and falling—on positive or negative news headlines. On Wednesday, Pfizer (ticker: PFE) said three doses of its vaccine should neutralize the Omicron variant.  

Meanwhile, the stock market is taking a breather from a big run. The S&P 500 has risen almost 4% since Dec. 1, when it bottomed from a recent pullback. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1%. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.2%, illustrating the moderate rise or stability of most major European bourses.

Oil prices were broadly stable with Brent crude down 0.6% to 75.38 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate falling 0.4% to $72.07 a barrel.

Here are three stocks on the move Thursday:

Fitch Ratings downgraded China Evergrande Group to “restricted default” Thursday after failing to get an answer from the embattled developer on whether or not it had repaid debt due on Dec. 6. In the absence of a response, Fitch said it was “assuming” Evergrande had defaulted on the coupon payments, for a total of $1.23 billion.

Evergrande (HK:3333) stock had closed up 4% in Hong Kong.

Amazon (AMZN) was fined €1.13 billion ($1.28 billion) by Italy’s competition authority for alleged abuse of market dominance, in one of the largest penalties ever inflicted on a U.S. tech giant by a European watchdog. The U.S. online retailer said it would appeal the ruling.

Amazon was down 0.4% in premarket trading Thursday.

Meme-stock darling GameStop (GME) was falling 4% in premarket trading, after reporting widening losses in the latest quarter and declining to provide formal financial targets.

Write to Jacob Sonenshine at and Pierre Briançon at