Dow plunges 650 points as record COVID-19 spike and lack of stimulus trouble investors

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

  • US stocks fell sharply on Monday as investors weighed both a lack of progress on fiscal stimulus negotiations and a record number of daily COVID-19 cases.
  • While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continued relief-package talks today, there are diminishing expectations that a deal will be ironed out before next week’s presidential election.
  • US daily coronavirus cases surpassed 80,000 on both Friday and Saturday amid reports that five people in Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle had tested positive for the virus.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks were slammed on Monday as investors weighed fading hope of a fiscal stimulus deal being reached before next week’s election and a record surge in daily COVID-19 cases over the weekend. 

The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted as much as 965 points at intraday lows, while the S&P 500 posted its biggest single-day loss since Sept. 23.

On both Friday and Saturday, US COVID-19 cases surged past 80,000, representing record highs in another wave of cases heading into the colder winter months.

Five people in Vice President Mike Pence’s inner circle – including his chief of staff, Marc Short – reportedly tested positive for the virus.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Monday:

  • S&P 500: 3,400.97, down 1.9%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 27,685.38, down 2.3% (650 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 11,358.94, down 1.6%

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Though talks about a stimulus deal are ongoing, it’s increasingly likely that there won’t be a deal until after Inauguration Day in January.

“Talks have slowed down, but they’re not ending,” the White House advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Monday.

The German tech firm SAP plunged on Monday after it cut its 2020 financial outlook because of a slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dunkin’ Brands jumped 18% after it confirmed reports that it’s in preliminary talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands for $8.8 billion.

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Jack Ma’s Ant Group is set to go public in the biggest initial public offering ever; it said it planned to raise $34.5 billion in a dual listing on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.

Industrial stocks moved broadly lower on Monday after China announced sanctions against Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon over sales to Taiwan. 

Gold edged higher, rising as much as 0.3%, to $1,908.59 per ounce.

Oil prices tumbled as Libya signaled an oil production increase. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 3.9%, to $38.28 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 3.7%, to $40.22 per barrel, at intraday lows. The large declines dragged energy stocks lower.

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