Omicron not a threat to the economy
US stock futures are set for a third day of gains as investors bet that the new variant of the COVID-19 virus will not pose a major threat to the economy.
Major futures indices are anticipating a 0.3% rise at the open after the S&P 500 had its best day since March.
A comment from Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House on Monday said early indications were that the omicron variant could be less dangerous than the delta variant, which cheered investors.
Oil has also risen to the $72 a barrel level.
On Wednesday, traders will be keeping an eye on the latest jobs and turnover survey. The Labour Ministry is expected to report that there were 10.369 million job openings at the end of October. This is up from 10.438 million in September. This would also mark the third consecutive monthly decline.
In Europe, London's FTSE fell 0.1%, Germany's DAX fell 0.7% and France's CAC fell 0.5%.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1% and China's Shanghai Composite rose 1.2%.
Japan lowered its growth forecast for the latest quarter to minus 3.6% from the previously reported 3.0% contraction. This change reflected weaker consumer and public demand and trade, as well as lower levels of private stocks.
Japan's parliament is expected to approve a proposed record 56 trillion yen ($490 billion) stimulus package, including cash payments and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy emerge from a depressed state exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Energy futures mostly rose on Tuesday, with the price of US crude oil jumping 3.7 per cent to $72.05 a barrel. This helped lift the S&P 500 index in the energy sector.