US Stocks declined significantly on Friday, the market suffered from some of the biggest single-day declines of the year due to Omicron, a new, fast-spreading COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa triggered fresh fears that a resurgent coronavirus could scuttle the global economy's recovery from the pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average – after briefly falling more than 1,000 points – ended the day down 905 points, or 2.5%, for its worst drop of the year, while the S&P 500 fell 2.27%, its worst day since February. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.23% in the shortened trading session on Friday (U.S. markets close at 1 p.m. ET due to the Thanksgiving holiday.)
The new variant with a very high number of mutations has spread quickly among young people and inflicted a sell first and ask questions later mentality on investors according to Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial.
Airline Stocks took a hit
The discovery of the new Covid variant triggered a sell-off of Airline stocks due to the spiralling ban on travels to South Africa and other surrounding nations. Ten European nations have suspended air travel from southern Africa. The 27-nation European Union also recommended an "emergency brake" on travel from southern Africa, citing the "very concerning" new variant. Airline stocks quickly sold off, with Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines falling nearly 9% each.
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES, INC.||36.38||-3.31||-8.34%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.||42.26||-4.47||-9.57%|
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP, INC.||17.75||-1.71||-8.79%|
Pharmaceutical Stocks hinge higher
Vaccine-makers were the early winners in Friday's sell-off, with shares of Pfizer, Moderna and BioNTech all up. Johnson & Johnson was down. Pfizer was on pace to close at an all-time high, based on data dating back to January 1972, while Moderna was poised for the largest percent increase since March 2020.
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||159.20||-1.040||-0.650%|