Dow plummets nearly 700 points as COVID variant sparks global selloff


U.S. stocks opened sharply lower Friday, joining a global equity selloff following the discovery in South Africa of a variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.53% was down 694.53 points, or 1.9%, at 35,109.85 after falling more than 800 points in early action, while the S&P 500 SPX, -2.27% dropped 62.31 points, or 1.3%, to 4,639.15. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.23% shed 137.84 points, or 0.9%, to 15,707.39. Analysts noted it remains unclear to what degree the new variant may be more transmissible or deadly. Traders warned that thin trading conditions could amplify market moves. U.S. markets close early Friday and were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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