Stocks futures in the United States tumbled Friday following news that a doctor who flew from West Africa to New York last week has contracted Ebola.
The 33-year old doctor, Craig Spencer, is being quarantined at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan. His diagnosis marks the second Ebola case from Africa in the United States after patient zero, Thomas Eric Duncan.
Before succumbing to the deadly disease, Duncan transmitted the virus to two health care workers at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The futures loss followed a rally on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 34 points, or 0.2%, to 16,576 while the S&P 500 index lost 6.7 points, or 0.3%, 1,939.40. Nasdaq 100 futures tumbled 16.75 points, or 0.4%, to 3,989.
The slump follows Standard & Poor’s best day of the year on Tuesday after the market hit a six-month low the previous week.
Ebola Bad for Aviation Stocks, Possibly Beneficial for Gold and Silver
“The fear of Ebola has caused pressure towards the U.S. stock markets, particularly in the travel sector and aviation stocks,” George Leong noted on Thursday. “The concern is real, and if it is allowed to grow in the United States, Asia, or Europe, we could see a significant decline in travel demand that could impact the next few quarters.”
Investor Eric Sprott believes Ebola fears may be good for the gold and silver market.
“Fear of travel and business disruption is definitely going to have an impact on a fragile economy already weakened by recessions in Europe and Japan,” Sprout told The Market Oracle. “An event like this could have serious negative repercussions because it changes people’s behaviors. If people worried about the security of bank deposits start pulling their money out, they would logically want to shift to gold and silver. All of a sudden, investors would come back into these markets and push the price up. No one is considering that. The natural Armageddon of disease could cause a financial Armageddon and precious metals are the natural comfort play.”