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Mid-day market: Black Friday mired by new Covid-19 strain

By Joseph Toppe

15:21, 26 November 2021

Data illustration
Data - Photo: Shutterstock

US shares continue to plummet on Black Friday amid rising concerns over a new, fast-spreading Covid-19 variant outbreak in South Africa.

By 11 am EDT (UTC-5), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down over 900 points, or over 2.5%, after starting the day 800 points lower. The S&P 500 is now off nearly 100 points or 2.7%, after starting the session down 1.4%.

The Nasdaq Composite sits more than 300 points lower, or 2.01%, after being down just 1.2% at the starting gun. 

New Covid-19 scare spurs Black Friday sell-off

On 25 November, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa announced the detection of a new variant of the SARS-COV-2, the virus that is responsible for the pandemic, following genomic sequencing.

The variant is currently labelled as lineage B.1.1.529.

The emergence of this new variant coincides with a sudden increase in cases in the Gauteng province over recent days and accordingly is being closely monitored by the health authorities in South Africa, according to the release.

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Winners and losers: Airline stocks drop, Covid-19 vax shares spike

Travel stocks are being hit hardest during Friday trading as shares for Carnival and Royal Caribbean are both down over 10%.

Shares for United Airlines nosedived 9%, while shares for Delta Airlines and American Airlines had plummeted over 7%.

In other stocks, shares for Boeing dipped 6% and shares for Marriott International are down over 7%.

Shares for Caterpillar are down 3.7%, while shares for Chevron are 3.2% lower.


3,474.69 Price
-0.680% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0616%
Short position overnight fee 0.0137%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 6.00


177.11 Price
-3.910% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 2.2652


0.13 Price
-6.100% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.0012872


0.60 Price
-3.220% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168

In health care, shares for Pfizer are up 5% and shares for Moderna are 16% higher.

Oil: Crude plummets amid new travel concerns

Oil prices are falling on Friday, with US crude futures sinking 6.2% to $73.57 per barrel.

January Brent crude, the global benchmark, dropped $3.69, or 4.5%, to $77.25 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

Natural gas futures rose, with the January contract, going up 3.7% at $5.304 per million British thermal units, while December gasoline sank 5.6% to $2.14 a gallon, and December heating oil dropped 5.7% to $2.2471 a gallon.

Gold: Futures rise slightly on Friday 

Gold futures for December delivery are up 1.1% to trade at $1,802.30 an ounce.

Forex: US dollar outperforms Canadian dollar, lags euro and pound 

On Friday, one US dollar equals 0.89 of the euro, and 0.75 of pound sterling, while the Canadian dollar equalled 0.78 of the US dollar. 

The 10-year Treasury note sank by 10 basis points to near 1.54%, versus 1.644% on Wednesday, while the ICE US Dollar Index, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.5%.

With the new Covid-19 variant in play, the South African rand faded 1.7% against the greenback to 16.231 per dollar.

Read more: Semiconductor stocks to watch as supply chain disruptions abate

Markets in this article

American Airlines Group Inc (Extended Hours)
10.65 USD
-0.04 -0.380%
Boeing Co (Extended Hours)
181.16 USD
2.66 +1.490%
346.09 USD
-1.66 -0.480%
155.82 USD
-1.21 -0.770%
Delta Air Lines Inc (Extended Hours)
43.49 USD
-0.26 -0.590%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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