New York: US stocks posted their worst session in weeks on Monday, driven downwards by fading hopes for economic stimulus, mounting worries over the coronavirus and jitters around the November 3 elections.
The major indexes recovered from the low points of the day, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average still dropped 2.3 per cent to end at 27,685.38, a loss of 650 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 1.9 per cent to close the session at 3,400.97, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 1.6 per cent to 11,358.94.
The losses came as curfews and other restrictions in Europe to contain the resurging coronavirus raised worries about additional lockdowns in the United States, where the daily case count has hit a record.
Meanwhile, policymakers in Washington continued to attempt to reach an agreement on another stimulus package, with time slipping away to get it done before election day.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talked again Monday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and her spokesman said she “remains optimistic” on the chances of reaching a deal before the election, while noting Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not agreed to Covid-19 provisions seen as key to a compromise.
Analysts are worried that reaching a deal on stimulus could be impossible even after the election if former vice president Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump.
“There will probably be gridlock if Biden wins but the Democrats don’t take the Senate,” said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services.
Monday’s session was especially bad for sectors tied to an economic recovery, including energy, industrials and financials.
Dunkin’ Brands surged 16 per cent after confirming it was in talks on a deal to be acquired by Inspire Brands and go private.