NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks dropped on Thursday (July 8), pulling back from records as worries about the Delta variant of the coronavirus added to global growth concerns.
Analysts cited Japan's decision to ban fans at the Olympic Games as the latest indication of the virus' growing threat to Asia.
Tunisia's health ministry spokeswoman called the effect of the virus on the country "catastrophic," while France warned nationals against traveling to Spain or Portugal on vacation because of a spike in cases.
"There's a growing concern about global growth," said Chris Low of FHN Financial, who also cited a shift towards monetary easing by top Chinese officials as illustrative of concerns about the economic outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8 per cent to 34,421.93.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.9 per cent to 4,320.82, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.7 per cent to 14,559.79.
The declines - which followed Wednesday's records for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq - came as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell below 1.3 per cent.
Banking shares fell on concerns about lower interest rates, with Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all losing more than 2 per cent.
Railroad shares fell sharply following a Wall Street Journal report that the Biden administration plans an executive order to address consolidation in the industry.
Norfolk Southern fell 7.2 per cent, Union Pacific dropped 4.3 per cent and CSX shed 6.2 per cent.