Dow sinks more than 700 points as delta variant stokes new fears for economic recovery


(NEW YORK) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 775 points — or 2.25% — early Monday, as renewed fears over the delta coronavirus variant cast a shadow on the economy’s post-pandemic recovery.

The S&P 500 was down some 1.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.6% shortly after markets opened. Monday’s sell-off comes on the heels of a record high for the S&P 500 approximately a week ago.

Some of the hardest-hit stocks include companies that would be impacted the most by new virus restrictions, including hotels, airlines and travel firms. Cruise liner Carnival Corp was down 7% in early trading and Boeing shed more than 5%.

The bloodbath also comes as the more-transmissible delta variant has become the dominant variant in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the delta variant has caused over half of all recent COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions between China and the U.S. were also linked to stoking new anxieties among investors. On Monday, the U.S. and several allies joined forces to “expose and criticize” China for a “pattern of malicious cyber activities,” announcing that China is profiting off some of the cyberattacks it’s supported and accusing China of being behind the Microsoft Exchange server breach in March.

Finally, in another worrisome sign for equity markets, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to its lowest levels in five months in a possible sign investors were seeking safe havens.

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