US stock markets plummet amid extreme volatility

by Anadolu Agency


Major US stock indexes posted massive losses Wednesday as pandemic fears fueled high volatility and increased risk perception among investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 633 points or 2.05% to 30,303 points, marking its worst one-day selloff since October.

The S&P 500 slumped 98 points or 2.57% to close at 3,750 and erased all of its gains since the beginning of 2021.

The Nasdaq meanwhile plummeted 355 points or 2.61% to 13,270 with Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet each losing over 3% and Netflix sliding 7% for the day.

The US dollar index rose to as high as $90.88 for a daily gain of almost 0.8% before settling around $90.65 as investors took profits for stocking cash ahead of new variants of COVID-19 that could potentially trigger new quarantine measures in the coming months.

The VIX volatility index, also known as the fear index, soared 61.6% to hit 37.21 at one point — its highest level since Nov. 2, indicating more losses in global markets could be possible before the end of this week.

Shares of US gaming retailer GameStop, on the other hand, continued their unprecedented rally, reaching an all-time high of $380 per share with a daily increase of 156%.

The company saw its shares climb by 92.7% the previous day. Its share price was only at $18 on Jan. 8 before starting the historic climb.

Gamestop trades were shortly halted Wednesday on the Nasdaq due to “manipulation” after the tech-heavy index’s CEO Adena Friedman warned before the opening bell that “we are actively monitoring social media chatter and will the halt stock if we match chatter with unusual activity in stocks.”

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