S&P 500 slumps on fears of new Covid strain

S&P 500 slumps on fears of new Covid strain

Shares in companies with businesses boosted during past Covid 19 flareups rose on Friday as a new strain of the disease rattled markets and spurred fears of new social restrictions.

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Zoom Video Communications Inc. and home-workout firm Peloton Interactive Inc. jumped 9% and 6.4% in U.S. premarket trading, while the S&P 500 index futures slumped as much as 2.2%.

Europe's virus testing companies gained because of concerns about the new strain, first discovered in southern Africa. Eurofins Scientific SE, a company that offers PCR tests and rapid antigen tests, rose as much as 7.6%, with diagnostics peers DiaSorin SpA and BioMerieux also advancing. In the U.S. vaccine makers jumped 20% while Alpha Pro Tech Ltd., a maker of personal protective equipment, went up 20%.

Today s broad market slump is a logical reaction, people are worried and in the right places like travel, said Martin Moeller, co-head of Swiss global portfolio management at Union Bancaire Privee in Geneva, while noting gains for stay-at- home stocks. In recent weeks, European infection rates have gone up as well as so-called lockdown winners and Covid 19 testing and treatment firms. They had underperformed over the summer as vaccination programs calmed concerns around the pandemic.

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