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US markets fell sharply; Square rallied on name change; Moderna tumbled 11.8% on patent ruling.

  • The Nasdaq fell 1.83% on Wednesday to close the session at 15,254.
  • Square shares rallied after hours following the name change to Block Inc.
  • Moderna tumbled 11.8% on Patent appeal failure & investors questioning vaccine effectiveness.

The US markets fell sharply for a second straight session as the news circulated that the first known case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in the US.

The Dow Jones fell 1.34% to finish the trading day down 462 points to close at 34,022 points .

The tech heavy NASDAQ fell 1.83% to finish the trading day down 284 points to close at 15,254 points

One bitcoin is worth US$57,087 going into the Asian trading day.

The Australian dollar is stronger against the major currencies and is buying 71.04 US cents.

Shares in Afterpay acquirer Square Inc. rallied in after-hours trade after CEO and founder of the company, Jack Dorsey, announced Square will change its name to Block Inc. from December 10. The name change comes as the company looks to expand beyond its payment business and into new technologies like blockchain.

Moderna shares took a dive on Wednesday, falling 11.8% as investors questioned how effective COVID-19 vaccines will be against the new Omicron variant of the virus. Moderna shares were also hit after losing an appeal of a patent ruling, where the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Moderna had not yet developed its COVID-19 vaccine until after it filed the appeal, pre-pandemic, and that the second patent hadn?t covered an obvious invention.

And Amazon has expanded Alexa?s capabilities for users who shop with Amazon Pharmacy, allowing them to simply say ?Alexa refill my medications? and an order will be placed to refill prescriptions.