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Dow Just Had Worst Black Friday on Record

Index plunges 905 points over fears of new COVID variant
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2021 12:28 PM CST
Dow Just Had Its Worst Day of the Year
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The stock market opened ugly and stayed that way. Thanks to fears over a powerful new COVID variant discovered in South Africa, the Dow racked up its worst day of 2021, reports CNBC. (The markets closed early, at 1pm, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.) The Dow plunged 905 points to 34,899 for a drop of 2.5%, and other major indexes weren't far behind. The benchmark S&P 500 fell 106 points to 4,594 and the Nasdaq fell 353 points to 15,491, drops of 2.2% for each. The Wall Street Journal notes that the Dow's plunge is also the worst-ever for a Black Friday since records on the big sales day started being kept more than 70 years ago.

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“It’s not a great day to wake up on Black Friday and see news about a concerning variant,” Jessica Bemer of Easterly Investment Partners tells the Journal. Investors generally retreated from stocks to safe havens such at Treasury notes and gold. The big fear is that the variant dubbed B.1.1.529 (for now) will set back months of progress on the virus and lead to further shutdowns around the world. “For now, COVID is back on the table,” says Takeo Kamai of CLSA in Tokyo. Not surprisingly, stocks related to the travel industry were among the biggest losers on Friday, notes the AP. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian Cruises all fell more than 10%. (Read more stock market stories.)

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