The index closed down more than 900 points, while the broader S&P 500 (^GSPC) average declined 2.27%.
Energy, financials and industrial stocks led the markets lower amid concerns of a new COVID variant first detected in southern Africa.
"To the extent this is not as big as Delta was ultimately, then I think maybe it's a little bit of a buying opportunity," Simeon Hyman, ProShares Global Investment Strategist told Yahoo Finance Live on Friday. "All the economic data of the last month or so was really, really strong—I mean, an all-time high ISM Services... Manufacturing was also high. And retail sales was up 1.7%."
Other strategists are sounding off warning signs of trouble ahead.
"I don’t see it as a buying opportunity. I see this as the first leg of a multistep downward move in the S&P ", Ed Budowsky, a Chapwood Investments managing partner, told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "This new variant is an excuse to sell off the market, because the market is so overpriced."
Chapwood added that the market "has been 31% overvalued for a number of months. It's definitely going to be a downward move going into 2022. ... You just can not support and justify for a long period of time, this kind of valuation." said the strategist.
The Dow Jones Industrial average declined more than 1,000 points at one point during Friday's shortened trading session.
Travel-related stocks were among the sectors that slid on Friday over concerns of renewed lockdowns and tighter restrictions. Stay-at-home trades, meanwhile, rebounded: Video calling software-maker Zoom (ZM) was up more than 7%. At-home-fitness company Peloton Interactive (PTON) gained more than 5% during the shortened trading session.
“I think it’s a reaction to the uncertainty,” BNP Paribas Asset Management Chief Market Strategist and Co-Head Investment Insights Centre Daniel Morris said on Yahoo Finance Live, later adding: "We clearly are going into the winter and it does seem, at this point, anticipating the potential problems as opposed to waiting to see if they're confirmed."
Vaccine maker Pfizer (PFE) hit an all-time-high on Friday after a Citi analyst highlighted the company is capable of producing a variant shot in 100 days.