Nov. 26 (UPI) — News of a new and more dangerous strain of COVID-19 sent the stock market reeling Friday, where the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all posted the kind of losses they have not seen in months.
The new coronavirus strain, named Omicron by the World Health Organization on Friday, originated in southern Africa and is increasingly being detected in people testing positive for COVID-19 there — drawing new restrictions on international travel in an attempt to stop it from spreading.
As of mid-afternoon, the Dow has lost nearly 1,000 points or more than 2.5% in trading. It was the worst loss for the Dow in a year.
The S&P tumbled 2.25% over the same period after losing more than 105 points.
Nasdaq saw its biggest drop since October, falling nearly 2.25% or more than 350 points.
“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,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer told NBC News.
“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,” Cramer said.
Oil prices and government-bond yields also fell on the news about the variant, which led to a ban on travelers from southern African nations by the European Union, United States, France, Japan, Italy, Israel and a host of other countries.