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By Dhirendra Tripathi — Worries about a surge in cases linked to the super-contagious Delta variant of coronavirus sent stocks on their worst ride since last October, with the three major indexes plunging.

Though earnings season got off to a good start last week, it wasn’t enough to quiet investor fears about a possible interruption to the economic rebound, as Covid cases spike in the United States to levels not seen since mid-May, and hospitalizations and deaths are also rising.

Though many of the newest cases are being associated with areas of the country where vaccination rates are low, there are still concerns that even fully vaccinated people can contract or spread the virus. 

The professional association of pediatric doctors on Monday recommended U.S. school children wear masks in school this fall, regardless of vaccine status, contradicting some of the guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Adding to Monday’s angst was a more...