Hedge-fund founder Anthony Scaramucci joins ‘Squawk Box’ to react to the latest market sell-off over concerns of a new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi
U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Friday as a new Covid variant found in South Africa triggered a global shift away from risk assets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 905.04 points, or 2.53%, for its worst day of the year, closing at 34,899.34. The S&P 500 lost 2.27% to close at 4,594.62, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.23% to finish at 15,491.66. The Dow was down more than 1,000 points at session lows.
Friday was a shortened trading day because of the Thanksgiving holiday with U.S. markets closing at 1 p.m. ET. Holiday weeks often have relatively light trading volume, which can amplify moves in the market.
“It’s important to stress that very little is known at this point about this latest strain, including whether it can evade vaccines or how severe it is relative to other mutations. Therefore, it’s hard to make any informed investment decisions at this point,” Bespoke Investment Group’s Paul Hickey said in a note to clients. “Historically speaking, chasing a rally or selling into a sharp decline (especially on a very illiquid trading day) rarely ends up being profitable, but that isn’t stopping a lot of people this morning.”
Several investment professionals told CNBC on Friday that the sell-off could be a buying opportunity.
“Friday is the day after Thanksgiving — probably not as many traders on the desks, with an early close today. So potentially lower liquidity is causing some of the pullback,” Ajene Oden of BNY Mellon Investor Solutions said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “But the reaction we’re seeing is a buying opportunity for investors. We have to think long term.”
Markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and had been split earlier in the week, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq underperforming amid an upward trend in Treasury yields.
The Nasdaq finished the week down 3.5%, while the S&P 500 and Dow slumped by 2.2% and 2%, respectively.
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