(FOX BUSINESS) – U.S. stocks tumbled on Friday morning after South Africa sounded the alarm over a new, fast-spreading COVID-19 variant, triggering fresh fears that a resurgent coronavirus could scuttle the global economy's recovery from the pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 900 points, or nearly 2.5%, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.9%, on track for its worst day since September. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7% at the beginning of the shortened trading session on Friday (U.S. markets close at 1 p.m. ET due to the Thanksgiving holiday).
The drop comes after health officials warned of a new variant found in South Africa that has a high number of mutations and has spread quickly among young people. The World Health Organization is due to meet Friday to discuss whether the strain is a concern and to determine whether to give it a name from the Greek alphabet.
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