Midway through trading Friday, the Dow traded down 2.60% to 34,873.25 while the NASDAQ fell 1.84% to 15,553.65 after a new COVID-19 variant was detected in South Africa. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.99% to 4,608.04.

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 48,999,730 cases with around 798,550 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 34,555,430 cases and 467,460 deaths, while Brazil reported over 22,055,600 COVID-19 cases with 613,690 deaths. In total, there were at least 260,465,210 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 5,202,500 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares gained by 0.1% on Friday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Adagio Therapeutics, Inc. ADGI +24.83% (Get Free Alerts for ADGI), up 31% and Moderna, Inc. MRNA +26.27% (Get Free Alerts for MRNA) up 26%.

In trading on Friday, energy shares fell 5.8%.

Top Headline

The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) human medicines committee (CHMP) recommended using Pfizer Inc PFE +5.53% - BioNTech SE's BNTX +21.04%'s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for children between 5 to 11.

Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine will be given in two 10-microgram doses three weeks apart as an injection in the upper arm, per the EMA recommendation.

Equities Trading UP

Allied Healthcare Products, Inc. AHPI +63.01% shares shot up 62% to $8.71. Shares of mask and protective apparel companies, including Allied Healthcare Products, traded higher amid concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa.

Shares of Cars.com Inc. CARS +19.72% got a boost, shooting 18% to $15.64. Cars.com will replace DSP Group in the S&P SmallCap 600 before the opening of trading on December 2.

BioNTech SE BNTX +21.04% shares were also up, gaining 20% to $366.20. The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) human medicines committee (CHMP) recommended using Pfizer- BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for children between 5 to 11.

Equities Trading DOWN

Laredo Petroleum, Inc. LPI -18.98% shares tumbled 17% to $56.85 amid a dip in oil prices as concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa weigh on oil demand outlook.

Shares of Pinduoduo Inc. PDD -17.97% were down 18% to $66.89 after the company reported third-quarter FY21 revenue growth of 51% year-on-year to $3.3 billion, missing the consensus of $4.2 billion.

Callon Petroleum Company CPE -20.39% was down, falling 18% to $50.42 amid a dip in oil prices as concerns of a new COVID variant discovered in South Africa weigh on oil demand outlook.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 12.4% to $68.65, while gold traded up 0.8% to $1,798.80.

Silver traded down 0.9% Friday to $23.275 while copper fell 3.5% to $4.3035.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 3.23%, the Spanish Ibex Index fell 4.58% and the German DAX 30 dropped 3.55%. Meanwhile, the London’s FTSE 100 fell 3.27%, French CAC 40 dipped 4.41% and Italy’s FTSE MIB dropped 3.88%.

Car production in the UK dropped 41.4% year-over-year to 64729 in October, while consumer confidence in Italy fell to 117.5 in November from 118.4 in the prior month. Loans to households in the Eurozone increased 4.1% year-over-year in October.

Economics

The Fed's balance sheet report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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