Egypt unrest has caused deep concern globally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166.13 points, or 1.4%, to 11823.70, the worst one-day performance for the blue-chip index since mid November.
The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 1.8%, to 1276.34, after approaching 1300 for the first time since August 2008.
The Nasdaq Composite Index, which struggled with technical problems early in the trading day, fell 2.5% to 2687.06.
Crude-oil prices surged $3.70, or 4.3%, to $89.34.
“That’s the most immediate concern, what’s happening in Egypt and how that might affect oil prices if the Suez Canal gets closed, which is a real possibility,” said Ed Cowart, lead manager of Eagle Asset Management’s Large Cap Value and All Cap Value and Equity Income Strategies. He noted if the (Suez) canal is closed, it could add substantially to the travel time for oil to get from the Middle East to the West.
Turmoil in the Middle East doesn’t seem to raise the sort of systemic risks for global financial markets that Europe’s crisis did, many observers said. That suggests Friday’s market fears could be short-lived.
Nevertheless, the news out of Egypt may have offered an excuse for a pause in financial markets that some skeptics say have come too far, too fast in recent months.
Source: compiled from Wall Street Journal