Analysts say it could jack up market volatility at a time when investors were already skittish after a chaotic presidential debate heightened fears of a messy transfer of power.
Wall Street’s main indexes tumbled at the open on Friday after President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 weeks before the election, with an elusive fiscal stimulus and a slowdown in the domestic economic recovery also denting sentiment.
At 9:37 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.99%, the S&P 500 was down 1.25% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.68%.
Mr. Trump’s tweet that he and first lady Melania had contracted the disease rankled global financial markets and sent investors scurrying to the perceived safety of the dollar, yen and gold.
Analysts said the news could hurt Mr. Trump’s campaigning ability and jack up market volatility at a time when investors were already skittish after a chaotic presidential debate heightened fears of a messy transfer of power.
“It’s one more insecurity heading into a tight, contentious election,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Bronson Meadows Capital Management.
“And given that Trump does not adhere to conventional norms and rules, who knows what he’ll do in terms of postponing the elections.”