Focus on the new fears of variants
Zoom shares closed up 5.7% and Peloton shares closed up 5.6% on Friday as fears of a new variant of Covid in South Africa sent markets tumbling down. Shares of Netflix and Roku, two other stay-at-home companies that profited from the pandemic, rose about 1.6% for the day.
Zoom and Peloton are still down 34% and 69% for the year, respectively, as people have returned to work, school and gyms.
The extent of the spread of the new variant is still unknown and it is not clear what kind of impact, if any, it will have. But, it’s a reversal from earlier this month, after travel companies like Delta, Airbnb, Expedia reported clear signs of a recovery in recent earnings reports and home stocks like Peloton, Zoom and Netflix declined amid indications that the Covid -19 pandemic end could arrive sooner than expected.
Meanwhile, shares of companies that benefited from the reopening were down for the day as part of a larger market sell-off. Expedia closed 9.4% lower. Lyft, Airbnb and Uber shares fell more than 3%.
The S&P 500 fell 2.3%, the Nasdaq composite slipped 2.3% on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.5%, or 905 points, marking its worst day of the year.
Correction: An earlier version of this story has been updated to reflect the appropriate declines since the start of the year for Zoom and Peloton.