COVID-19 will continue to be unsolvable mayhem to medical experts which has, in turn, continued to affect the global economy and trade relations.
A new NBC News report has it that the US stocks have fallen aggressively behind on Black Friday following a new COVID-19 variant that’s been discovered in South Africa.
Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 2.5% for its worst day of the year while S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite drops 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.
This made the Friday trading a shortened one with US markets closing at just 1 PM ET due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Even with the Thanksgiving holiday, the main culprit for this is the new COVID-19 variant discovered in South Africa, and the Word Health Organization on Friday has classified the new variant as a “variant of concern.”
The new variant is named “Omicron” and epidemiologists have warned countries across the globe to be on the alert.
WHO on Friday released a statement that preliminary evidence points to an increased risk of reinfection with the new variant as it adds the new discovery to the list of variants of concern.
A few cases have been confirmed beyond Africa.
In Hong Kong, the government announced on Thursday that it detected two cases, while Belgium was the first EU country to announce a case of the variant on Friday.
Israel also reported it identified a case in a traveler returning from Malawi with two other suspected cases being already placed in isolation.
“When I read that there’s one [case] in Belgium and one in Botswana, we’re going to wake up next week and find one in this country. And I’m not going to recommend anyone buy anything today until we’re sure that isn’t going to happen, and I can’t be sure that it won’t,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said.
But several investment professionals told CNBC on Friday that the sell-off could be a buying opportunity.
“Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, probably not as many traders on the desks with an early close today. So potentially lower liquidity is causing some of the pullbacks,” Ajene Oden of BNY Mellon Investor Solutions said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “But the reaction we’re seeing is a buying opportunity for investors. We have to think long-term.”
With that, bond prices have risen while yields fell. Cboe Volatility Index rose to 28 which is its highest level in two months while oil prices tumbled.
Travel-related stocks also got hit while banks made a retreat due to the fear of economic slowdown making the Bank of America drop by 3.9% and Citigroup drop by 2.7%.
Investors on the other hand rallied around vaccine makers which made Moderna share surge more than 20% while Pfizer got a 6.1% boost.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Seng index fell more than 2% while Germany’s Daz index slid more than 4% and yeah, Bitcoin also dropped by 8%.