Stocks sank Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly falling more than 1,000 points, as a new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe. Investors were uncertain whether the variant could potentially reverse months of progress at getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
The S&P 500 index dropped 106.84 points, or 2.3 percent, to close at 4,594.62. It was the worst day for Wall Street’s benchmark index since February.
The index was dragged lower by everything from banks, travel companies and energy companies as investors tried to reposition to protect themselves financially