U.S. Stocks Likely To Open Sharply Lower

wallstreet july24 26nov21 lt

Sharply lower U.S. index futures and a sell-off in Asian and European markets point to a negative start for U.S. stocks Friday morning.

The Dow futures are down as much as 2.1 percent, the S&P futures are sliding 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq futures are down by about 0.8 percent.

Friday's session will be a shortened one, with the market closing at 1 PM ET, due to Thanksgiving holiday.

The mood across global markets turned extremely bearish today amid reports about the detection of a new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant in South Africa.

Although not much is known so far about the variant detected in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong, scientists are of the view that the new variant may be able to evade immune responses or make it more transmissible.

According to reports, the World Health Organization will hold a "special meeting" to discuss if the heavily mutated strain will become a variant of interest or a variant of concern.

The U.S. market remained closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday, the major U.S. averages showed a notable turnaround after moving to the downside early in the session.

The Nasdaq ended up by 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent, while the Dow settled with a marginal loss.

Asian stocks tumbled on Friday on virus jitters. Chinese shares ended lower as a handful of local Covid-19 cases in eastern parts of China prompted Shanghai city to limit tourism activities and a nearby city to cut public transportation services.

European stocks are plunging sharply, with reports about a newly identified and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant adding to concerns over surging Covid cases in Europe.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures are down $4.98 or 6.33% at $73.41 a barrel.

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