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US STOCKS-Boeing drives S&P, Dow futures higher after Omicron drubbing

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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Futures: Dow rises 0.64%, S&P up 0.33%, Nasdaq down 0.10%

By Devik Jain

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Futures tracking the Dow and the S&P 500 rose on Thursday, led by gains in planemaker Boeing and travel stocks, although increasing cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant across the world continued to drive volatility in markets.

Boeing Co gained 4.5% in premarket trading after China's aviation authority issued an airworthiness directive on the 737 MAX plane that will help pave the way for the model's return to service in China after more than two and a half years.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed below their 50-day moving average on Wednesday, while the Dow breached its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 2020 on growing investor angst about the latest coronavirus variant and the Fed's hawkish comments.

Wall Street whipsawed this week as investors appeared to scramble for bargains after every drawdown. However, the three indexes are tracking sharp weekly losses, with the Dow on pace for its fourth straight fall.

The United States and Germany joined countries around the globe planning stricter COVID-19 restrictions as the Omicron variant rattled markets, fearful it could choke a tentative economic recovery from the pandemic.

Markets are already worried about supply chain logjams and global central banks returning faster to pre-pandemic monetary policies to tackle surging price pressures.

At 7:21 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 218 points, or 0.64%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.33%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 15.75 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE volatility index, also known as Wall Street's fear gauge, was last trading at 29.19 points, a day after hitting its highest level since February.

Stellar earnings reports, coupled with strong economic growth, have powered U.S. stocks to a series of record highs in November, with the S&P 500 climbing 20.1% so far this year.

A Reuters poll of equity analysts said a correction was likely in the next six months, with the benchmark index expected to gain 7.5% between now and end-2022 to finish at 4,910.

Among other stocks, Delta Air Lines led gains among major airlines, up 2%, while cruise operators Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line jumped more than 3% each to recoup some losses suffered in the previous session.

Apple Inc fell 2.5% and its suppliers Qualcomm , Skyworks and Qorvo slipped between 1.7% and 1.9% on a report that the iPhone maker told its parts suppliers that demand for the iPhone 13 lineup has slowed.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp rose 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively, tracking oil prices. Bank of America was the biggest gainer among its peers, up 1.1%.

On the economic data front, the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims data is due at 08:30 a.m. ET. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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