U.S. travel stocks jump as new vaccine data eases Omicron fears

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. travel and leisure stocks surged on Wednesday after BioNtech SE (22UAy.DE) and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said a three-shot course of their COVID-19 vaccine was able to neutralize the new Omicron variant.

Shares of U.S. airlines - including Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL.O), American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) and Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) - rose between 0.95% and 2.26% in premarket trading.

Their shares were also helped by Southwest's forecast of posting a profit in the fourth quarter as opposed to its earlier projections of a loss on a rebound in travel across the United States and higher fares. read more

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Hotel chains Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N), Marriott International Inc (MAR.O), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) were up between 0.30% and 1.17%, while travel booking websites Expedia Group Inc (EXPE.O) and Booking Holdings Inc (BKNG.O) rose more than 2% each.

"Just because the variant is more vaccine resistant doesn't mean vaccines are now useless. That is building a more positive picture than what we were facing last Friday," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

Pandemic winners, including Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), Roku Inc (ROKU.O) Zoom Video Communications (ZM.O) were all trading lower.

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Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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