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Stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street Friday, after a coronavirus variant from South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe and the European Union suspended air travel from southern Africa. (See related article.)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 905 points.
The S&P 500 index fell 2.3 percent, its worst day since February, and the Nasdaq composite had its worst drop in two months.
Travel and energy stocks are among the biggest losers, with Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruises all off over 10 percent. Airline stocks were quickly sold off, with Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines falling more than 10 percent each.
“Investors are likely to shoot first and ask questions later until more is known,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.
The New York Stock Exchange closes early at noon Central Time.