November proved to be a turbulent period for markets as investors reacted to the news of rising coronavirus concerns ignited by the emerging Omicron variant. The risk-off playbook was quickly put into action and high-quality bonds rallied while equity market gains from early in the month were quickly eliminated. Although much is still unknown about the new variant, early indications suggest that while it is potentially more contagious than the prior variants (including Delta), it may not be any more severe. Vaccines are also potentially still effective to some extent against the new variant which should help to soften the impact. While impossible to know for certain, it appears unlikely that the Omicron and future variants would cause the same degree of panic and turmoil in markets as the initial scare in early 2020.

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