Home business Dow tanks 900 points on COVID concerns, worst one-day drop of the year #Dow #tanks #points #COVID #concerns #worst #oneday #drop #year

Dow tanks 900 points on COVID concerns, worst one-day drop of the year #Dow #tanks #points #COVID #concerns #worst #oneday #drop #year

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked more than 900 points Friday in a holiday-shortened trading day after the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 in South Africa jolted investors around the world. 

The Dow fell as much as 1,000 points at one point, but finished the day down some 905 points, or 2.5 percent, for its worst day of the year.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq plummeted 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.

The massive selloff saw investors abandon bets on the global economic recovery and pile into the basket of stocks that surged during the depths of the pandemic. 

Stocks linked to global travel like airlines, cruise lines and hotels were hit particularly hard while so-called stay-at-home stocks like Peloton and Zoom surged. Pharmaceuticals tied to drugs for treating COVID-19 traded higher, as well.

Wall Street was in a frenzy on Black Friday as stocks around the world tumbled in the face of a new Covid-19 variant.
John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, said the market is in a “sell first and ask questions later mentality.”

“The economic recovery has been quite impressive and the one thing that could knock it over completely would be a more dangerous variant. Time will tell how worried we should be, but investors are selling in front of potential bad news,” he added.

The US selloff comes after markets in Europe and Asia saw similar drops as investors around the world were jolted by warnings coming out of Africa about a new, potentially more infectious variant of COVID-19 that could be resistant to vaccines. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell more than 2 percent in Friday trading and Europe’s STOXX 600 index closed 3.7 percent lower, its worst one-day drop in about a year.

Oil prices tumbled, too, with US crude futures almost 12 percent to $69.00 per barrel, while Brent crude futures dropped by more than $8.50, or 10.5 percent, to $73.50 a barrel.

dow-tanks
Dow tanks 1,000 points as new COVID variant in South Africa stokes concerns.

The nosedives in global equities come as officials at the World Health Organization said they would hold a special meeting Friday to discuss the variant, which has been stoking concern among scientists who fear it may be more resistant to current vaccines.

Jeff Carbone, managing partner for Cornerstone Wealth, said the market reaction to the new variant could also be a sign that the market was overheated to begin with. 

He said the sell-off is “maybe a needed pause in this growth market to reset and get ready for year end.”

The new variant has been found mostly to be present in South Africa, along with Botswana, Hong Kong and, most recently, Israel. Officials in Belgium announced Friday morning that they’ve identified two cases that they suspect to be the new variant, as well.

The US said Friday it will ban travel from South Africa and seven other African nations by non-US citizens beginning Monday.

nasdaq
The S&P 500 index fell 2.3%, its worst day since September and the Nasdaq composite also had its worst drop in two months.
AP

The United Kingdom on Thursday suspended all flights from six African countries due to the variant. Israel also imposed “no-travel” restrictions on the majority of Africa and France also suspended flights from Southern Africa Friday morning.

In a press conference Friday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the new variant “very worrying.” But much remains unknown about the variant, with much of the concern focusing on its unusual combination of mutations.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, said Friday in an interview with CNN that there’s no evidence that the new variant has yet appeared in the US. 

Without clarity on the severity of the threat posed by the new variant, investors abandoned travel stocks that have rallied amid the global recovery from the pandemic and instead piled into so-called work-from-home stocks like Peloton and Zoom, which were last seen trading 6.5 percent and 9.3 percent higher, respectively.

People queue to get vaccinated at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. The U.K. has suspended flights to six African countries, including South Africa.
People queue to get vaccinated at a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. The U.K. has suspended flights to six African countries, including South Africa.
AP

Sectors closely tied to the reopening of global travel were hit hard, with airlines down about 7 percent, on average, cruises between 8 and 10 percent lower and hotels falling about 8 percent. 



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#Dow #tanks #points #COVID #concerns #worst #oneday #drop #year

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