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NEW YORK: US stocks were flat early Wednesday after two strong sessions as markets weighed statements from drugmakers on the effectiveness of vaccines against the latest Covid-19 variant.

BioNTech and Pfizer said a third shot of their vaccine was effective at guarding against the new strain, while a two-dose regime will leave Omicron "not sufficiently neutralized."

Equity markets powered higher the last two days as public health experts expressed guarded optimism that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 could be less virulent than earlier strains.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 percent at 35,741.21.

The broad-based S&P 500 also edged up 0.1 percent to 4,689.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite was off less than 0.1 percent at 15,680.97.

Nasdaq up 2.5% as US stocks open higher

Investors also are girding for the release of consumer price inflation data later in the week ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

Besides Omicron, worries about tightening US monetary policy have been a source of volatility in recent weeks.

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