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Dow drops 725 points in worst day since October amid COVID-19 fears

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Dow drops 725 points in worst day since October amid COVID-19 fears
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 725 points, its worst day since a 943-point drop in October, as investors were shaken by rising COVID-19 cases. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 725 points in its worst decline in nine months amid fears that surging COVID-19 cases and the presence of the Delta variant could hinder economic recovery.

The blue-chip index fell 2.09%, its worst decline since a 943-point drop in October, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.59% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.06%, sliding for the fifth consecutive session.

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The 10-year treasury yield dropped to a new low of 1.17%, dropping below 1.2% for the first time since February.

John Hopkins data has shown that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in all 50 states and infections have climbed 69%, deaths have increased 26% and hospital admissions gained 36% in the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Stocks that would benefit from the broad reopening of the economy suffered as United Airlines shares fell 5.54%, American Airlines dropped 4.14% and Delta slid 3.77% while Carnival fell 5.74%, Norwegian Cruise Line dropped 5.49% and Royal Caribbean declined 3.98%.

Energy stocks also fell with Exxon Mobil sliding 3.44% and Chevron dropping 2.7% as West Texas Intermediate Crude dropped 7.8% to $66.26 per barrel.

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Key stocks associated with global growth also took hits with General Motors dropping 2.31% and Caterpillar closing 1.82% lower.

"The market appears ready to take on a more defensive character as we experience a meaningful deceleration in earnings and economic growth," Morgan Stanley chief U.S. equity strategist Mike Wilson said Monday.

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