- Dow Industrials rolled 905 points in an abbreviated session on Friday.
- A new strain of coronavirus discovered in South Africa led to travel restrictions around the world.
- Researchers say the variant appears to be highly mutated.
US stocks closed markedly lower on Friday as investors moved out of risk assets, after rapidly rising cases of coronavirus from a new strain drove concerns that the pandemic would throw the global economy out of its recovery.
Wall Street’s key benchmarks had an ugly Black Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 900 points in an abbreviated trading session. The trade closed at 13.00 Eastern after Thursday’s holiday closing.
U.S. investors returned from Thanksgiving to see travel restrictions imposed around the world because of a coronavirus variant called B.1.1.529 that appears to be spreading from South Africa. The World Health Organization held a special meeting on Friday and said that not much is known about the variant yet.
Here is where US indices stood at 16:00 on Friday:
“What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” says Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Technical Staff. lead on COVID-19, in a livestreamed update.
“We believe that Covid-19 is still the main investor narrative, with an excessive pandemic development driving the mood of investors. And this mood is driving kitchen table talks and ultimately consumer purchases and the time of economic recovery,” Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments, Insider said in a note Friday.
“2021 has seen several factors triggering market movements, such as corporate earnings, key economic data, inflation fears and Fed policies. But changes during the Covid containment, such as the advent of the Delta variant and this latest South African variant, have overshadowed other factors to a significant degree, “he said.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan and other countries issued travel restrictions from South Africa as well as from neighboring countries, sending travel stocks down, including United Air Lines and cruise operator Carnival. Meanwhile, shares of vaccine manufacturers and home stocks rose.
Around the markets, gold reversed the price and fell 0.2% to $ 1,787.89 per share. ounce. The 10-year interest rate fell 9 basis points to 1.504%.
Oil prices fell and West Texas Intermediate crude fell 11% to $ 69.43 per barrel. barrel.
Bitcoin fell 7.5% to $ 54,525.73.