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Expedia, Airbnb, and other travel stocks drop amid discovery of new COVID-19 variant, market selloff

·Markets Reporter
·1-min read
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  • CCL
  • CUK
  • CUKPF
  • UAL
  • NCLH
  • LUV
  • EXPE

Travel platform Expedia (EXPE) and home sharing site Airbnb (ABNB) are two of the stocks swept into the market sell-off on Friday over concerns of a COVID variant first detected in southern Africa.

Expedia, the fifth-worst performer in the S&P 500, dropped as much as 11% during the shortened trading day on Friday. Shares closed 9% lower at $159.80 each. Airbnb's stock closed the session down more than 3% at $173.86.

Travel reservation platform Booking Holdings (BKNG) also declined more than 7% as investors sold off re-opening trades over fears of tighter restrictions and lockdowns.

Travel related stocks declined on Friday amid concerns over a new COVID variant first detected in Botswana and South Africa.
Travel related stocks declined on Friday amid concerns over a new COVID variant first detected in Botswana and South Africa.

Few details are known about the new strain first detected in South Africa and Botswana, though the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control categorized it as a 'variant of concern.' 

Hotels, cruise operators, and airlines also sank as several countries — including the UK, Spain, Denmark, Israel, and Hong Kong — announced tighter travel restrictions amid the variant. On Friday after the market closed, the White House announced the US is cubing travel on eight southern Africa countries. 

Airlines Jet Blue (JBLU) and Delta (DAL) fell more than 5% and 8%, respectively. Cruise operators Carnival (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) each dropped double-digit percentages. All four stocks touched 52-week lows on Friday. 

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