Return to Transcripts main page

First Move with Julia Chatterley

Goldman Sachs Cuts U.S. Economic Growth Fast; Europe Brings In Stricter Curbs As Omicron Surges; U.S. Stocks Drop As Omicron Cases Surge; Chinese Tennis Star Denies Making Allegations; Leftist Gabriel Boric Wins Presidency In Runoff; Turkish Lira Tumbles Again On Fresh Inflation Concerns. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired December 20, 2021 - 09:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: Live from London, I'm Isa Soares in for Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE. And here's your need to know.

COVID clouds. Global stocks and oil slump as Omicron dense the economic outlook.

Stricter measures. The World Economic Forum is postponed as Europe brings in new restrictions.

And getting a boost. Moderna says its booster increases antibodies against Omicron.

It's a busy Monday. Let's make a move.


A warm welcome everyone to FIRST MOVE. Great to have you with us this busy Monday.

I want to begin really with a check of the global stock markets, a day when fears of the economic as well as health effects of the Omicron variant are

dominating sentiment.

Let's have a look at Wall Street futures and how they're looking like as we've got about 29 minutes or so until the bell rings there.

Pointing to Dow crosses well over 1 percent. Really a continuation of last week's selloff. We'll try and bring you the graphic as soon as we can. The

last we look was about 1 percent or sort of.

Investors fearing, of course, a significant jump in COVID cases in many parts of the United States.

We're seeing a similar story really in Europe, where tighter health restrictions have gone into effect in many countries as you can see there.

Red arrows right across the board. The FTSE down 1 percent, Xetra DAX almost 2 percent, similar picture we're seeing in Paris with CAC.

Travel, tech, energy, financials, they're all-seeing losses this Monday.

If we have a quick look at crude and how it's faring. Well, Brent Crude currently down almost - almost 4 percent on fears that Omicron will lessen

global demand and weakened economies. Ease somewhat with about 5 percent at about 9:00 this morning.

But it's encouraging news also from Moderna about the efficacy of its vaccine against Omicron. It's a market positive. Moderna says its vaccine

significant boosts antibodies against Omicron.

But fresh uncertainty of the future of President Biden's $1.7 trillion stimulus bill shows how hard it will be to reach consensus on future

pandemic support even as the U.S. Fed begins pulling monetary support.

If I show you quickly, if we're over to Asia-Pacific, stocks also closing lower.

China announced fresh support for its economy, cutting its benchmark lending rate for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The day there closing in the red Nikkei down at more than 2 percent.

So, let's get more on the markets in our drivers.

Christine Romans joins me now.

Good morning, Christine.

There's a lot for us to get through. Let's talk about these losses we're seeing right across the board and potentially the United States too. Just

so much uncertainty out there. Fears of Omicron could be derailing economy.

What are you seeing as the biggest jitters this morning?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, I've been really looking at the oil market. That is sort of the proxy for global

growth, hopes, and faith in the recovery. And that hit to oil prices shows me that there's a lot of nervousness about this new phase that we're in


We've got the Delta variant is the predominant variant still in the United States. And it is - is you know sending people in line to get tested and

it's disrupting school and it's disrupting return to work. And then Omicron is also here, and more infections expected there across the board.

So, you've got this moment where we're wrapping up this year, a shortened trading week. You're seeing energy prices decline here on those worries

about what this all means around the world. And the stock market falling too here.

So, started last week. You know the stock market jitters really started last week but adding to that gloom this morning, no question, all of the

headlines about Omicron. And also, about the president's - you know the president's legacy building agenda.

SOARES: Absolutely. I'm glad you bought it there. Just as you're talking, we show our viewers futures. U.S. futures up, promise we were working on

those graphics.

There they are.

S&P down -- expected to be down 1 and 3 tenths of percent. Worse picture there for Nasdaq.


SOARES: On the president's agenda, Christine, you know we saw another economic shock with Senator Joe Manchin's decision not to back President

Biden's Build Back Better act. How much of this is a blow do you think for -- within the financial community and the potential impact on growth here,

if it doesn't go through?

ROMANS: It's so fascinating here because you can look at these two ways. And Goldman Sachs, actually the economists there, said that there would be

a little -- they trimmed their growth forecast for the first quarter and the second quarter next year because you won't have this massive investment

in the economy, wouldn't have this major new spending.


And this is new spending. For example, you know the child tax credit, that's money that right now is going into people's pockets that will not at

this point be happening in - in January. So, that is a blow to working families and that would you know be a dent on economic growth.

On the other side of the Goldman Sachs economists point out that if you don't raise corporate taxes and you don't put restrictions on what drug

companies, BioNTech companies can charge for sky high drug prices. That's probably good for Wall Street. That's kind of offsetting.

So, it's a main street versus Wall Street story here. There was a big investment in main street that looks like it's not going to happen. That

could be a little hit to economic growth. But for Wall Street not raising corporate taxes, that's great news for companies that already have record

high profit margins.

SOARES: Yeah. Such a good point.

And although you know we're seeing global markets in the red. Futures as well pointing to a lower open. Can't forget also the stock markets at

record high say Christine.

ROMANS: Yeah. 15 percent return, more than that for the Dow Jones industrial Average this year. For Nasdaq, a big return. There are 20

percent plus for the S&P 500. For people who have 401(k), it's probably you know your stock -- typical stock investors pretty much, you know, they kind

of matched up with the S&P 500. And that has been just phenomenal.

So, you're so right, Isa. The perspective here. Shortened trading late week. We're getting new information on the healthcare front. We're getting

new information on the president's spending front, investing in the economy.

So, there's a lot of - I mean, a lot of noise, quite frankly. A lot of noise heading into the end of the year. So, not a surprise to see investors

take some off the table.

SOARES: Absolutely. A lot of effort across all to digest.


SOARES: Christine Romans, great to see you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

SOARES: Thanks very much.

Now, here in the UK, a cabinet meeting is taking place about now to discuss the government's response to the Omicron threat. It has now become the

dominant strain in England as well as Scotland. Hospital admissions are rising, especially in London, where the city's mayor warns further

restrictions are inevitable.

Salma Abdelaziz has a story for you.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: As Britain grapples with a huge surge in COVID cases, everyone here is asking is there going to be a lockdown for

Christmas? The deputy prime minister Dominic Raab refused to rule out the possibility that further restrictions could come into force during this

holiday season. He warned everyone to be mindful, careful about their social gatherings over the coming days.

This is what else he had to say.


DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: You can't make hard and fast guarantees and we have to track the data as it comes through. We know

Omicron is spreading fast. We don't yet know the severity. And we're reliant on seeing that data come through and it comes through day by day.


ABDELAZIZ: Over the weekend, the situation appearing more dire, the London mayor declaring a major incident in the capital over the surge in cases.

Sadiq khan also warning that more restrictions seem inevitable. British scientific advisors as well were ringing the alarm over the weekend. They

say that tougher rules need to come into force before the end of the year. Otherwise, England could potentially be looking at up to 3,000 people a day

winding up in hospital with COVID-19.

These scientific advisors are urging the government to put tougher rules into force. The health secretary was also ringing the alarm in recent days,

saying the doubling rate of Omicron, which doubles every two to three days is highly concerning, has health officials worried about the health care

system being able to handle this huge surge in positive cases over the coming hours and days.

We expect Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be under increasing pressure from the medical community and from scientific advisers to potentially put

tougher rules into force. But even without the government announcing tougher restrictions, many families, individuals, even businesses taking

matters into their own hands, choosing to self-isolate, choosing to close their doors either because they've been in touch with a positive case or

simply to keep from getting sick. It's put a huge cloud of doubt over this Christmas season.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


SOARES: Thank you so much. Of course, we'll bring you more from that cabinet meeting at the prime minister as soon as we have more information.

Now, in Europe too. The Omicron variant is driving COVID cases to record highs. Several governments imposed new curbs over the weekend. Germany

banned travel from UK except for German residents.

The Netherlands limited indoor gatherings to two guests.

Denmark shut down night life venues, theaters, museums and cinemas.

And a short while ago, the World Economic Forum canceled its January meeting in Davos.

Let's get more on all these threats. Cyril Vanier joins me now.

And Cyril, you know the World Economic Forum, it's the second year in a row that they are cancelling the world summit really. And it just goes to show

the severity of the crisis we're facing, which is not over anytime soon.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know it's crazy. I was just listening to you rattle off that list of new restrictions pretty much across the

continent. And I was thinking if you had told these countries a year ago that within 12 months, they would have vaccinated most of their population,

they would have been really happy.


They would have thought, well, crisis probably over then. We'll have a good 2021 Christmas and New Year's Eve. If you had told them, well you know

what, even with the majority of your population vaccinated, you will still be contemplating lockdowns, I think most leaders' jaws would have dropped.

And yet that is exactly what is happening.

So, we're seeing countries that are taking measures with varying degrees of severity. Those that had the highest rates of vaccination like here in

France where 90 percent of those who are eligible are vaccinated. Those countries, they have a little bit more slack, a little bit more time before

they impose the harshest restrictions.

So, here in France all they've done is cancelled the New Year's Eve fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and New Year's Eve celebrations -- public

celebrations in general.

But you have those countries like Denmark that are shutting down the whole cultural scene. Like the Netherlands that have instituted this Christmas

lockdown. And all of these countries are really bracing for what they expect will be a surge of hospitalizations. Not only are they facing any

wave of Delta fueled infections. But they believe in the coming weeks, sometime in January, Omicron will have taken over and would have become the

dominant variant in Europe. And they believe that is going send many, many more people to hospital, Isa.

SOARES: And as you're talking, we're looking at these scenes in the Netherlands of pretty deserted streets, Cyril. How was the lockdown there?

How's that being received? Because I can tell you, here, the majority of people don't want to see any sort of lockdown. They want to be with their

loved ones as we head toward Christmas, of course.

VANIER: Yeah. Well, the prime minister there you know said I don't want to do this, I'm kind of ashamed that I have to do this, but here is where we

are. And it was a necessary move in order to avoid the health system being overwhelmed.

What's been interesting to watch is that regardless of the country and regardless of that country's politics and some have been a little bit more

vaccine accepting, some have been more vaccine hesitant. The bottom line is the 12 months on these countries are having to institute almost identical


And you know they come to it more or less reluctantly. But if you look across the board, it's really the same thing happening. Some countries will

be at one extreme and they will mandate vaccines. That is the case for Austria. Germany will soon follow.

But even countries that are not mandating vaccines, Isa, they're kind of doing it in a roundabout way. Look at what Italy and France are doing. They

have this super vaccine pass. Italy calls it the green pass, the super green pass.

France wants to have something similar starting next month, which would really pretty much keep the unvaccinated out of any public space. So, that

amounts to a quasi-vaccine mandate. And that is what more and more European countries are going to, in the Netherlands and beyond.

SOARES: Cyril Vanier for us in Paris this hour. Great to see you Cyril. Thanks very much.

Now, across the Atlantic, the message on Omicron from Dr. Anthony Fauci is loud and clear. It's going to take - to take time really. Health experts

are urging people to get jabbed over the holidays. Moderna saying its booster is effective against the variant.

Jason Carroll is in New York, which has seen record numbers of COVID cases for three straight days.

Jason, New York seems to be the epicenter of this surge in the United States. Give our viewers a sense of what's being done there to try and

contain the rise of these cases here?

JASON CARROLL, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. It's a terrible case of Deja vu. Isn't it, Isa?


CARROLL: I mean basically, what city health officials are trying to do to get ahead of this is to continue to encourage people to get vaccinated,

doing it through mandates, doing it through public messaging, whatever they can do.

I mean health officials are looking at the COVID numbers here in New York City. And those numbers right here continue to go up. I mean, if you just

look at some of the recent data that we're getting in, COVID cases in New York City more than doubled compared to last week. Most of those cases,

again, when you're looking at the numbers here, are among the unvaccinated. And despite all of that rising in cases we're seeing here health officials

also say that they are not seeing the same level of substantial rising in terms of numbers of hospitalizations or deaths, so there's that.

But meanwhile, when you look across the city, you've got people waiting in line for hours trying to get testing ahead of the - ahead of the holidays.

Those people trying to go into drugstores, trying to get at-home kits, finding that they're sold out.

So, this morning, New York City's health commissioner weighed in on this issue, speaking to CNN, talking about what this city is trying to do to

meet that need.


DR. DAVE CHOKSI, NYC HEALTH COMMISSIONER: We did see unprecedented demand over the last few days. We've ramped up testing. We're doing more testing

per capita than just about any other place in the world. And we're going to continue to ramp it up to be able to meet it. For example, we're adding

additional testing sites throughout this week.


We have a total of 89 across the five boroughs of the city just in terms of city sites. We're also distributing half a million rapid test kits through

community-based organizations. We'll keep building upon that to meet the demand in the coming days.


CARROLL: And so, right now Isa, as you can imagine, a lot of eyes are on Times Square right here where I am right now. New York City's Mayor Bill de

Blasio is saying that he's going to give it to Christmas before making any decision in terms of whether or not the ball will drop. But for right now,

it is a go.

Organizers are saying anyone who plans to be out here in this fence on New Year's Eve will have to show proof of vaccination. They'll have to show

their ID. Right now, they're not going to be requiring that people wear masks, but they are strongly encouraging it. Isa?

SOARES: Right. So, we shall wait to see what happens to the New Year's Eve parties there in Times Square.

Jason Carroll for us. Thank you very much indeed.

Now, these other top stories making headlines right around the world.

In Hong Kong, only about 30 percent of voters cast their ballots in Sunday's legislative election. That is the lowest turnout since Hong Kong's

handover to China in 1997. For the first time, the Chinese government allowed only candidates considered patriots to stand for election. Beijing

has blamed activists and foreign powers for the low voter turnout.

More than 200 people have died and dozens more are missing after super typhoon Rai battered the Philippines. That is according to the Philippine

National Police. Though the official death count still stands just over 30, National Police say more than 230 people have suffered considerable

injuries. The storm hit the Philippines last week with the strength of a Category 5 hurricane.

And in Malaysia, monsoon flooding has displaced more than 41,000 people, according to the state news agency. Rescue efforts are ongoing. Officials

say hundreds of motorists had to be rescued from a stretch of highway Saturday. Malaysia's prime minister promised in a Facebook post to devote

$23 million to flood recovery efforts.

Still to come right here on FIRST MOVE.

Moderna delivers a dose of hope. New studies show its booster is effective against the Omicron variant.

And Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai now denies she made allegations of sexual abuse.

We'll explain, next.



SOARES: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE everyone.

Let's have a look at U.S. futures. Last time I looked they were looking lower. As you can see, red arrows there. We're about 10 minutes or so --

less than 10 minutes until Wall Street opens. The opening bell rings.

You can see concerns there over the global spread of the Omicron variant dominating the sentiment. Broad-based pullback with futures currently near

session lows. Volume expected to be light ahead of course off the Christmas holiday. And that could only serve to really magnify the price swings.

U.S. stocks coming off a losing week with the Nasdaq falling almost 3 percent. You can see there, the S&P dropped for the third time in four

weeks. That said, in perspective, the S&P 500 comes into today's session still up more than 1 percent this month and less than 2 percent away from

records. The S&P still up more than 20 percent year to date too. Important context needed there.

Jeffrey Kleintop Joins me now. He's the managing director and chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

Jeffrey, great to have you on the show once more.

Look, there's so much for us to digest here. Let's talk - start off with these moves that we see in the stock markets this morning. I suspect it's a

fear here, Jeffrey, of further restrictions and how that might impact global economic growth here. How do you interpret it?

JEFFREY KLEINTOP, CHIEF GLOBAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CHARLES SCHWAB: Certainly, even the new restrictions we're seeing in Denmark but also in

the Netherlands and a few other places that are contemplating new COVID related restrictions here in the coming weeks and the weight that can put

on economic activity. It's also the failure of the Build Back Better act in the U.S. And the fact that it may not be passed means lower inflation but

possibly lower growth as well in the U.S as we look at to 2022.

So, all of these pressures weighing down on the market are certainly holding stocks down today. I wouldn't be surprised to see the classic

defensive leadership from tech and healthcare holding up better than the rest of the market today as is often the case when we this Omicron waves

tied to concern of a weaker economic growth.

SOARES: And I'm glad you mentioned Senator Manchin's refusal basically to back the Build Back Better legislation. Because I suspect, Jeffrey, the

markets were pricing in some sort of support or backing from Manchin here.

KLEINTOP: Yeah. I think they were. I think the consensus was that this would eventually get done. It would take a little bit of time in the early

part of next year. Most forecasters of the political landscape felt this was an inevitable deal.

For the last six months, the Democrats have attempted to play cave mansion. And the thought was that they were getting closer to a deal. The fact that

the deal had been whittled down so much, they thought they were closer to something happening. The fact this doesn't seem to be happening means we

could be facing pretty much a gridlock year for the 2022. Ahead of those midterm elections which means you know the market is going to be drifting a

little bit here as it's maybe focused a little bit more on maybe regulatory policies and issues for the Biden administration rather than anything on

the legislation front.

SOARES: We'll talk about the regulatory in just a moment. On Manchin here and this move by him, do you think, Jeffrey, that this has any sort of

impact on growth? Because from what I saw, Goldman Sachs is now dimming its economic outlook because of this decision.

KLEINTOP: Some of this spending was intended to be rolled out here right in 2022. Yes, at this margin it is less fiscal support for the U.S. economy.

Now that's something the fed will have to consider as it thinks about tightening monetary policy next year. Perhaps less will be needed.

SOARES: Well, he - had said that one of his main concerns on this mansion, besides debt was actually inflation. How founded are these worries would

you say, Jeffrey?

KLEINTOP: I believe that, and we believe that at Charles Schwab that inflation will be fading next year. May actually end the year close to the

Feds target zone. So, we think that while inflation fears are high right now, they may be peaking.

SOARES: OK. But does the action, for example, you've been seeing in the bond market, that bear this out? Because yields haven't really moved higher

even after the Fed's new projections here.

KLEINTOP: Yeah. And I think that's maybe because the bond market was expecting the Fed now to maybe move three times or even more next year. And

the idea that would weigh on economic growth and contain rates at the longer end of the curb. Even as the shorter and riser.

So, we often see this move towards the flattening of the yield curve as the market begins to price in these rate hikes, that was - that's fairly

typical. I think now it's the idea that maybe inflation may recede a little bit. We may not get as much pressure from this legislation. Maybe the Fed

won't be forced to act as aggressively in the near end of the curb. And that might allow the curb to steepen up just a little bit.

SOARES: And as you and I talking, if I can bring the stock prices as stock market moves just up, six minutes or so to go until the start of Wall trade

- trading on Wall Street. As you can see the S&P 500 and Nasdaq down.


But despite the moves today, Jeffrey, the stock market is still near kind of record highs. Is this reason to be optimistic here as we head into 2022?

I'm trying to end in a more positive note as you can tell.

KLEINTOP: I think there are good reasons for that. Economic growth remains on an upward trajectory.

Earnings remain strong. Every earning season this year companies have exceeded estimates. We're going to be heading into an earnings season just

about four weeks or so from now. And I think that would be a positive tone for the market.

So, as we can set some of these issues behind us and we can't really put Omicron behind us. But maybe as we get more information, and it appears to

be less severe, maybe the fears of additional lockdowns will fade away. Along with that, maybe a return to core fundamentals which remain quite


SOARES: What will change that then in that case? Because we're seeing the numbers obviously continue to surge in Europe, restrictions coming into

place, expectations at least in the UK, the numbers will get - will only increase in terms of not just hospitalizations but infections here in the

UK, likelihood of that arriving in the U.S. in the next few weeks, what is your biggest fear here?

KLEINTOP: That's certainly a big concern. I think watching the impact of how this unfolds in more highly vaccinated populations is going to be very

important. A number of countries have ruled out further lockdown restrictions. So, we'll have to see how that goes.

The U.S. is more in the live with it rather than the lockdown mode. So, maybe less of an economic impact in the U.S. But certainly, that will be an

important thing to watch. And of course, the impact that this could have on exacerbating what already you know supply chain problems around the world.

That's critical at least for the next several weeks.

SOARES: Such a good point.

Thank you, Jeffrey Kleintop. The managing director and chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab. Have a wonderful Christmas. Thank


KLEINTOP: You too.

SOARES: And do stay with us with FIRST MOVE. We have the market open next.



SOARES: It's the start of a trading day on Wall Street and the start of a shortened trade in a week.

Welcome back to FIRST MOVE.

U.S. stocks, we have a look, up and running this Monday and as we told you in the last 30 minutes or so on top of the show, we got a lower open across

the board for the major averages. The Dow Jones there down 1 and 3 tenths percent. Really, it is a mixture of Omicron fears as well as concerns that

the U.S. Congress won't pass robust fiscal stimulus for Americans next year.

Goldman Sachs we told you at the top of the show as well is lowering its 2022 economic forecast on news that holdout Senator Joe Manchin will refuse

to back the Build Back Better spending social bill. And you can see the stocks reacting to all those concerns.

Dow Jones down 1 and 3 tenths percent. Nasdaq down almost 2 percent. Similar picture, S&P 500 1 and 3 tenths percent.

We'll keep an eye on those numbers. Vaccine makers are big gainers though in early trading. Moderna as you can see there up almost 8 percent,

rallying on positive news about the efficacy of its COVID vaccine booster. We'll have more in just a moment.

And Novavax is getting EU emergency use approval for its vaccine. Hence, why you're seeing its stock now up 7 percent. Delivery to EU countries

could be in as soon as the first quarter.

So, plenty for us to talk about.

Matt Egan joins us now for more on the markets.

And Matt, as we look at these markets, you know, they really as you and I well know, they don't like uncertainty. And that's exactly what they're

facing here. Restrictions, potentially lockdowns in some countries and concerns, once again, about global growth.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Isa. That's right. COVID fears are clearly back on Wall Street and around the world. There is a lot of concern right

now about what the rapid spread of cases and this return of some health restrictions is going to mean to the economic recovery. We know that these

cases have been very disruptive.

In the United States we've seen Broadway shows cancelled, sports games have been postponed, office openings have either been delayed or cancelled all

together. And that is very disruptive for the economy.

I think what's harder to judge is the shifts in behavior that consumers are going to take just because they're nervous about the worsening health

situation. You know, that might mean taking fewer vacations and not going to movies, not going out to eat.

And so, we've seen travel stocks take a hit so far today. We've seen Airbnb, hotel companies like Marriott, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, also of

course the cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, all of them losing ground. Some of the stay-at-home stocks, most notably Zoom, are

doing a bit better.

There's also as you mentioned some more uncertainty about the fiscal situation after Senator Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat, came out

and announced he's opposing Build Back Better. That's the President Biden's $1.75 trillion really legislative center piece.

We wasted no time. Goldman Sachs immediately downgrading its economic view in the wake of that news. They no longer think Build Back Better is going

to happen. For markets that cuts both ways. Because on the one hand, it means less support for the economy because one of the big pieces there was

the child tax credit and that's going away. But also, it means no corporate tax hike and that was a negative for the market.

So, there's some push and pull there. I do think that clearly, the COVID situation is a big negative for investors right now. Isa?

SOARES: Yeah. Indeed. And I know that like you said, Manchin's decision not to back President Biden's Build Back Better plan, I think a lot of the

stock markets already priced that in.

Let's talk about oil. Because this morning, when I was doing my show, about 9:00 this morning in London. Oil was something like 5 percent. Seeing quite

a slump. I think it's eased somewhat since then. But again, Matt, fears over demand here?

EGAN: Yeah. Absolutely. That's all about demand. Oil, both the U.S. benchmark and brand I think down around 4 percent at last check. That is a

big move. And that is driven by concerns that people might be traveling less. They're going to be commuting less.

I mean normally, I would be in the office I'm not today because of COVID. And there's a lot of other people in that same situation. People are going

to be on long vacations, business travel is a big deal.


That's another thing that's going to take a hit. And remember, oil, we really pay very close attention to oil prices in part because it is a proxy

for confidence in the recovery. And so, right after Thanksgiving in the United States, we saw financial markets really take a big hit.

Oil was leading the way down then. It was oil's worst day since April 2020 because of all of this uncertainty about what Omicron means for demand.

This also puts different light around the OPEC decisions, because OPEC has been criticized by the White House for being sort of reluctant to

aggressively pump more oil. But all of this concern about demand that I think sort of makes OPEC's decision making seem a little bit more

reasonable, because there is a lot of uncertainty here. Isa?

SOARES: Yeah. And that's exactly what I'm going to ask. We're looking WTI Crude down 4 percent. Brent Crude almost 4 percent. I mean as opposed that

perhaps puts more pressure on OPEC like you said Matt to take action quicker here.

EGAN: Yeah. I think that there was some surprise that OPEC went ahead in the most recent meeting and decided to continue their plan to pump more

oil, just gradually adding I think 400,000 barrels per day. And I think if we see continued pressure on oil, if we see the rapid spread of COVID

around the world and we see the return of some health restriction, most notably in Europe, I do think there would be some reason for OPEC to maybe

pause on these production increases. And say we're going to wait and see here.

Because remember, we were looking at oil prices around $85 a barrel and they've come down really significantly in a short amount of time. Some of

that is because the United States and other countries have released some emergency barrels. But also, another huge factor has been these demand

concerns. And so, you have to wonder whether OPEC rethinks its their strategy at the next meeting.

SOARES: Indeed. Matt Egan for us there. Thanks very much. Matt, great to see you.

EGAN: Thank you.

SOARES: Coming up right in the show. A concerning new turn in a story that's really dominated world sport as well as beyond China tennis star

Peng Shuai is now denying she made accusations against a Beijing official.

We'll have the full details just ahead.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

Now, the vaccine maker Moderna has new data pointing to the strength of its boosters compared to only having two vaccine shots. Moderna CEO has

described the data as reassuring.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.

Elizabeth, what more do we know at this stage about Moderna's booster shots? Do we know how effective they are against Omicron here?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, we actually don't. What we know is that the booster that's currently out there which is 50

micrograms does some good. But it's not clear how much good.

So, let's take a look at what Moderna found. According to their press release, they say that the current booster, which is 50 micrograms boosted

the antibodies. But just because you see an antibody boost in the lab doesn't mean that it helps people in real life. They also found that 100

micrograms boosted antibodies even higher but that's not the booster that's out there. And they say that the - it's clear from their press release et


The effectiveness of either dose against Omicron is unclear. It's also unclear, if it is effective, how long that effectiveness will last, the

durability. There are some questions about that. Not just for Moderna but for other vaccines as well.

So, I think the bottom line here is that a booster is better than not having a booster. If the antibodies are going up even if we're not quite

clear on what that means, it is better than having a lower level of antibodies. So, the advice in the United States is still the same. You need

to get vaccinated. That's the most important thing. And when it comes to your time which in the U.S. is 6 months after your second shot on Moderna

or Pfizer, go ahead and get your booster. Isa?

SOARES: And is that because -- are they unsure whether you know it fights against Omicron because Omicron hadn't yet been found, we didn't know about

it? Because we're testing something completely different? Why is that?

COHEN: So, the vaccines were tested back in 2020 on real live people, on tens of thousands of them.

SOARES: Right.

COHEN: But Omicron didn't exist. So, we don't know what happens. There was no clinical trial with Omicron obviously. It's so new. So, we need to --

this is going to be not a clinical trial as much as real life experience. You know what we've heard from South Africa is when people get Omicron, it

helps to be vaccinated and that infections of an illnesses tend to be mild. Hopefully that's true in other countries as well. What you see in the lab

which is what Moderna pointed - did today, what you see in the lab is not always what happens in real life. It's sometimes hard to connect those two.

SOARES: Elizabeth Cohen for us there. Thanks very much, Elizabeth. Appreciate it.

Now, tennis star Peng Shuai is denying she made abuse accusations against a retired Chinese official. In an interview with a Singapore based Chinese

newspaper, Peng said she never spoke or written about anyone sexually assaulting her. That is despite claims made on a now deleted post on a

social media account. The case is still not being reported in China and this is what Peng has said. Have a listen.


PENG SHUAI, TENNIS PLAYER (through translator): I want to emphasize one thing that is very important, that I have never spoken or written about

anyone sexual assaulting me. This point is very important to be emphasized clearly. In terms of the Weibo post, first of all, it's my personal

privacy. There possibly has been a lot of misunderstanding.


SOARES: Let's get more on the story.

Will Ripley is following the story for us from Hong Kong. And Will, does this ease concerns at all about her well-being?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not from the perspective of the Women's Tennis Association, Isa, which continues to say that this video, while it's

good they say to see her out and about -- she was at a skiing competition in Shanghai on Sunday. There's still concern that she's not speaking

freely, that she's not being coached or coerced or silenced. They're still calling for a free, fair and transparent investigation without censorship

into her original allegations of sexual assault.

She's now saying they weren't sexual assault. She's saying it was a misunderstanding. If you read that initial Weibo post, she clearly laid out

in very emotional detail what is widely perceived as a claim of sexual assault at the hands of a much older, much more powerful retired communist

party leader.

So, even though now she's saying that she's always been free, that she was grateful to have those video calls with the International Olympic

Committee. Of course, they were wildly criticized for those calls which never actually released. They just released one still image. You know

saying that she actually never wrote that someone sexually assaulted her.

Her post, which was erased within 30 minutes, is still censored in China, still not discussed in China, as you mentioned. And this foreign media

outlet, yes, it's foreign media, it's not Chinese state media but it's the only Chinese language newspaper that's allowed to be sold in Mainland China

and it's the only one that's not censored by the Chinese firewall. So, Mainlanders can actually read it because it's covered that usually pro-

Beijing stance. So, still a lot of unanswered questions here despite this new interview. Isa.


SOARES: And has the WTA been able to speak to her? She's being interviewed by this Singapore based newspaper. Has the WTA been able to speak to her

face to face in many ways?

RIPLEY: She claimed in this interview that she sent those e-mails to the WTA and the head of the WTA herself, e-mails that had a lot of legal

sounding language retracting her allegations. They were widely seen as skeptical at best. Certainly, were not believed by the WTA.

Look, she's had weeks since this initial post on November 2nd to be potentially coached by people which we know happens to people who are

arrested and detained in China. And then end up making these you know confessions that later will reveal were forced confessions on Chinese state


So, the things Peng Shuai is saying are just in line with what Chinese state media reporters have been tweeting. Even though they are ignoring

this story inside their own country. The Women's Tennis Association despite receiving e-mails from Peng hasn't been able to get on the phone directly

with her and didn't get a response to their e-mails that they sent, other than these carefully scripted e-mails that they say they received.

SOARES: I mean this story has so many of us scratching our heads. Will Ripley there for us. Thank you very much. Good to see you.

Now, stock markets in Chile have fallen following the country's presidential runoff election.

And let me show you how the Santiago Stock Exchange is doing right now. We bring up the numbers. Bear with me. Down almost 4 percent there. Now a

leftist Gabriel Boric will become Chile's next leader after defeating his conservative rival.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's 35 years old, the former student leader and has the support of the country's communist party.

Gabriel Boric will be Chile's next president. The former congressman and leftist leader garnered more than 55 percent of the vote on Sunday's runoff


His rival, conservative attorney Jose Antonio Kast, quickly conceded defeat, saying he called Boric less than two hours after polls closed.

Boric's victory was also swiftly recognized by current president, Sebastian Pinera, who had a video conference call with the winner moments later.

SEBASTIAN PINERA, CHILEAN PRESIDENT (through translator): You are going to be one of the youngest presidents of recent times. And people should know

how to combine strength, idealism, and the spirit of youth with prudence and the experience of gray hair. So, I want to invite you tomorrow to have

a work meeting so we can talk about very important subjects for Chile.

ROMO (on camera): After a tooth-and-nail campaign in a very polarized country, Boric was ready to turn the page when he addressed Chileans after

winning the election. He thanked his supporters and said he will be a president for all Chileans.

GABRIEL BORIC, NEWLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF CHILE (through translator): Compatriots, I will be the president of all Chileans, of those who voted

for this movement, of those who today fill the squares of all of Chile, of those who chose another alternative. And of those who did not vote, we will

be there for you.

ROMO (voice-over): Boric made a lot of promises during his campaign, promises that could prove hard to keep.

ROBERT FUNK, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CHILE: He's going to have a very hard time. You know, he's confronting a deadlocked congress, he's got a

constitutional convention, he's got a very fractious coalition. It's not clear what role the communist party is going to play in his coalition,

whether the socialist party will join or not, and he's got a difficult economic situation. We are coming out of the pandemic and the economic

effects of that. And he's, as you say, he has made a lot of promises that cost a lot of money.

Many of the things coming out of the constitutional convention are -- you know, social and political rights are likely to, you know, have an effect

on fiscal spending, and so he's going to have a hard time meeting all of that.

ROMO (voice-over): Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean, including presidents Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba and Columbia's Ivan Duque,

congratulated the new president-elect. Boric will take office on March 11th for a four-year term.

(on camera): Rafael Romo, CNN, Santiago, Chile.


SOARES: Thank you, Rafael.

Coming up right on the show, we have a rock star trading leap on Wall Street. Stay tuned for a look at those numbers. More on what's driving the

negative sentiment. Next.


SOARES: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE.

If you're just joining us, well there's lots going on this Monday on global stock markets. A quick check of the Turkish lira has fallen to a fresh all-

time low against the U.S. dollar after President Erdogan once again defended the rate cuts the fueled inflations. You can see there U.S. dollar

versus lira up 7 percent, U.S. dollar to the lira.

Meantime, U.S. stocks are beginning a holiday shortened trading week in the red. The Dow Jones there down more than 1.5 percent, similar picture the

Nasdaq as well as the S&P 500. Lots of uncertainty remains over how the Omicron variant will impact economic growth.

Paul La Monica joins me now.

Paul, great to have you on the show this morning.

There is so much really happening this morning, concerns of Omicron, perhaps new restrictions, perhaps lockdown, then some Manchin's decision to

pull out. How do you square this all up? I mean what is really rattling markets this morning?

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yeah. I think you nailed it. It's a combination of these two very negative headlines. We have more potential

worries about if not necessarily a return to March 2020, because most people that are vaccinated, people are definitely nervous again and we're

seeing some restrictions as a result of the Omicron variant and the rise of COVID cases.

But that obviously in and of itself I don't think would have caused this selloff that really is being fueled by concerns that stimulus from

Washington is not going to happen to the same extent that people were hoping for because of Senator Manchin saying no to the Build Back Better


So, Joe Biden has to go back to the drawing board in early 2022 to try and find some other way to maybe get a smaller stimulus package through that

could help consumers and the American economy.

SOARES: Explain to our viewers, Paul, why this would impact really the stock market. Why for example Goldman Sachs saying this would actually you

know slim its economic outlook here.

LA MONICA: Yeah. I mean, I think the hope was that Washington -- it was a no-brainer, that there would be more stimulus even though there are

legitimate concerns about inflation right now. And obviously that's something that many lawmakers and Republican lawmakers are concerned about,

at least one Democratic senator in Joe Manchin.

So, Goldman Sachs pointing out that without this bill going through, you could have the economic recovery not be as robust as hoped for. I think

with stocks near record highs even with this pullback we've seen lately, a lot of enthusiasm was baked into stock prices that 2022 would be another

strong year for economic growth. And now that's in question, especially because of the rise of the variant.

SOARES: Yeah. And like you said, I think so much of this was already priced in, the fact that it perhaps would go through. And clearly that was quite a

shock to the economic community there.

Paul La Monica, great to see you my friend. Thank you very much.

Now, movie theaters have been desperate for massive blockbusters since the pandemic, as you can imagine. Now they've got their superhero.



SOARES: The latest Marvel movie "Spider-Man: No Way Home" saw the third largest opening weekend in history. Sony says it ranked in more than $253

million in North America. It's incredible this is happening during a pandemic. It's amazing "Spider-Man" indeed.

And finally, on FIRST MOVE.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is back on earth after spending 11 days on the International Space Station. The fashion magnet is the first tourist

to reach the Space Station in more than a decade. He returned on board a Russian spacecraft landing in Kazakhstan a short time ago. He traveled with

his production assistant who documented the journey and a Russian cosmonaut who piloted the roundtrip. The cost of the trip was not disclosed. But some

reports have put it as high as $50 million. He's back just in time for Christmas.

And that does it for us here on FIRST MOVE. Thanks very much for joining. I'm Isa Soares. "CONNECT THE WORLD" with Becky Anderson is next. Do stay

right here with CNN. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.