Wall Street drops as Delta variant drives fears

Wall Street fell on Friday as investors turned risk-averse, worrying that the spike in coronavirus cases tied to the Delta variant could delay the economic recovery. They sold big cap tech titans like Amazon and Nvidia, and bought defensive stocks like utilities and healthcare.

The Dow closed nine-tenth percent lower. The S&P 500 lost three-quarter percent. The Nasdaq shed eight-tenth percent.

On the week, the three indexes lost ground topped by the Nasdaq’s nearly 2% loss.

Mercadien Asset Management President Ken Kamen:

“As earnings season starts, people are worried about, well, are we at peak earnings now or peak earnings growth, and the Delta variant is also starting to make its way into the psyche of the marketplace. So I think you know, after the run we've been on near record highs, maybe a breather has been called for as people assess all these factors.”

Investors also fretted about inflation. A survey showed Friday consumer sentiment fell sharply and unexpectedly in early July as inflation concerns dented confidence in the economic recovery.

The Uber of China, Didi Global, fell 3%. China sent state officials to the ride-hailing giant to conduct a cybersecurity review.

Pfizer shares rose two-third percent. The maker of EpiPens has agreed to pay $345 million to resolve claims by consumers who alleged they overpaid for the device that treats allergic reactions.

Moderna shares jumped 10%, closing at a record high. The drug maker will join the S&P 500 index on July 21, replacing Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

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