US stocks plunged into red territory on Friday amid investor concerns over the effects that the recent surge in novel coronavirus cases may have on the strained economic recovery.
Some of the hardest-hit companies Friday included United Airlines and Norwegian Cruise Line, which fell by more than 4%, as well as banking and financial institutions Goldman Sachs Group and Wells Fargo, both which saw their stock values fall by over 6%.
Financial companies endured some of the bigger hits after the Federal Reserve placed new restrictions on the industry Thursday, ordering banks to suspend share buybacks and cap dividend payments at current levels for the third quarter.
The move came as a result of the US central bank’s annual stress test, which found in a worst-case scenario that banks could rack up as much as $700 billion in loan losses if unemployment hits a whopping 19.5%.
With Florida reporting nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases – its largest single-day jump – on Friday, state officials suspended the consumption of alcohol at bars statewide, effective immediately.
And in Texas, residents haven’t fared any better, as the Lone Star State reached a record 4,739 hospitalizations on Thursday, which marked a new high for the 14th consecutive day. In an effort to curb the new COVID-19 surge, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that bars would be shuttered and restaurants limited to 50% of their capacity.
At present, the US has recorded over 2.4 million COVID-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US novel coronavirus death toll has topped 124,000.