Wall Street falls, S&P 500 down 1.2% as global markets swoon
Wall Street slumped Monday as markets tumbled worldwide on worries about the pandemic’s economic pain, though the S&P 500 had pared its losses by the end of the day.
The drops began in Asia as soon as trading opened for the week, and they accelerated in Europe on worries about the possibility of tougher restrictions there to stem rising coronavirus counts. In the U.S., stocks and Treasury yields weakened, while prices sank for oil and other commodities that a healthy economy would demand.
The S&P 500 fell 38.41 points, or 1.2%, to 3,281.06. It extends the index’s losing streak to four days, its longest since stocks were selling off in February on recession worries. But a last-hour recovery helped the index more than halve its loss of 2.7% from earlier in the day.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 509.72, or 1.8%, to 27,147.70 after coming back from an earlier 942-point slide. The Nasdaq composite slipped 14.48, or 0.1%, to 10,778.80 after recovering from a 2.5% drop.
Wall Street has been shaky this month, and the S&P 500 has dropped 8.4% since hitting a record Sept. 2 amid a long list of worries for investors. Chief among them is fear that stocks got too expensive when coronavirus counts are still worsening, Congress is unable to deliver more aid for the economy, U.S.-China tensions are rising and a contentious U.S. election is approaching.
Bank stocks took sharp losses after a report alleged that several continue to profit from illicit dealings with criminal networks despite U.S. crackdowns on money laundering.
California gained 101,900 jobs in August, mostly due to the temporary hiring of federal census takers.
Shares of electric and hydrogen-powered truck start-up Nikola plunged 19.3% after its founder resigned as executive chairman and left its board amid allegations of fraud. The company has called the allegations false and misleading.
General Motors, which recently signed a partnership deal where it would take an ownership stake in Nikola, fell 4.8%.
The FTSE 100 in London dropped 3.4%. Other European markets were similarly weak. The German DAX lost 4.4%, and the French CAC 40 fell 3.7%.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.1%, South Korea’s Kospi fell 1% and stocks in Shanghai lost 0.6%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 0.66% from 0.69% late Friday.
September’s losses for markets are reversing months of remarkable gains. Beginning in late March, when the Federal Reserve and Congress pledged massive amounts of support for the economy, the S&P 500 erased its nearly 34% in losses caused by the pandemic.
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