Global markets steadied on Monday, with U.S. stocks and oil prices gaining, as investors contemplated more carefully the knowns and unknowns of a new Covid-19 variant.The S&P 500 rose about 1 percent, rebounding from a 2.3 percent drop on Friday, its worst day since February.Stocks had dropped heavily on Friday after initial news of the discovery in southern Africa of the new variant, called Omicron. The World Health Organization labeled it a “variant of concern,” its most serious category. Shares of companies in industries that had been bouncing back in recent months, like airlines and other travel firms, took big hits as governments reintroduced limits on movement across borders. Oil prices plunged on concerns about the economic toll of potential restrictions, while government bond yields fell amid an investor flight to the relative safety of sovereign debt.On Monday, with quick answers about the threat from Omicron hard to come by, investors seemed to focus on the possibilities other than disaster and some of Friday’s moves were undone. While the new variant might turn out to be more contagious and vaccine resistant, it could also prove to be less dangerous to the health of the vac …
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