Virus Fears Spook Stocks; Dow Has Worst Day This Year

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Corrects second paragraph to say the Dow dropped as much as 946 points intraday Monday. The story was originally published July 19.

That’s how many points the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell Monday, the largest drop for any day this year, as investors grew more worried about the potential economic effect of rising virus cases in the U.S.

The Dow, which tracks the stocks of 30 major U.S. companies, had dropped as much as 946 points earlier in the day before closing at 33,962.04, down 725.81 from Friday, or 2.1%. It was the worst day for the index, as measured by points, since late October, when concern about surging COVID-19 cases and presidential election uncertainty were both intensifying. So far this year, the popular gauge is still up 11%.

The stock market started to wobble late last week, as investors grew uneasy about the Delta variant of COVID-19 and how infections could disrupt the economy. After hitting its lowest level since the early days of the pandemic in June, the number of daily virus cases has shot up in July. But enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19 that new lockdowns and restrictions on businesses are unlikely, said Matthew Matigian, CEO of Blue World Asset Managers.

 “I just don't see that happening,” Matigian said, calling the fears “unfounded.”

Medora Lee contributed to this report. Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Rob at ranthes@thebalance.com.