Stocks fall on Omicron worries ahead of Fed meeting

It was a jittery Monday on Wall Street with health crisis concerns emanating from Britain and investors awaiting an important Federal Reserve decision.

The Dow fell 320 points. The S&P 500 lost 43. The Nasdaq tumbled 217.

The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting will start Tuesday and wrap up on Wednesday. Investors are expecting Fed Chief Jerome Powell to officially announcing a faster withdrawal of the massive stimulus put in place to cushion the economic blow from the health crisis. The meeting could also send a signal as to whether the Fed intends to step up its inflation fight by raising rates earlier than predicted.

Phil Palumbo, chief investment officer at Palumbo Wealth Management, says a tightening Fed is no good for tech stocks or other high flyers.

"You're seeing an adjustment for the Fed being more hawkish. This is a big week this week and you see that adjustment in markets today, and that's why you're seeing a lot of these technology stocks continue to sell off, a lot of these meme stocks. You know, AMC, you see how big it's down today and other tech meme stocks are really selling off, and that's what you're going to see in 2022."

As for those meme stocks… Video game retailer GameStop touched lows not seen since April. That stock slumped 13.9 percent on Monday. Theater operator AMC languished at lows not seen since May. It tumbled more than 15 percent in one day.

But it wasn't just meme stocks on the slide. The so-called reopening stocks plunged on news the fast-spreading Omicron variant now accounted for around 40% of COVID-19 infections in London and at least one death in the United Kingdom.

Carnival and all of the cruise lines were down at least 4 percent.

United was the biggest loser among the major airlines. It was down roughly 5 percent.

Airbnb was down more than 5 percent.

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