- US stocks fell sharply to start the week as investors grow concerned about the global spike in COVID-19 cases.
- The 10-year Treasury note declined as much as 12.2 basis points to 1.177%.
- Cryptocurrencies, gold, and oil were all lower. Lumber prices rose.
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US stocks cratered on Monday as investors eyed a spike in global COVID-19 cases led by the Delta variant, throwing up a roadblock to a full recovery of the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 726 points, or about 2.1%, for its worst day since October 2020, while the benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also tumbled.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined as much as 12.2 basis points to 1.177%, its lowest level since February as investors flocked to safe-haven assets.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:
- S&P 500: 4,258.49, down 1.59%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 33,962.04, down 2.09% (725.81 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 14,274.98, down 1.06%
"COVID has returned to the front burner of investor concerns right now," David Donabedian, CIO of CIBC Private Wealth, said in a note. "Last week we had high inflation readings. Now we have concerns that the rise in COVID cases is dimming the economic outlook. While the second-quarter earnings reports have so far beat expectations, this is old news now."
Shares of airlines, cruise operators, and other travel companies slumped on concerns that the Delta variant would derail the recovery.
American Airlines and airplane maker Boeing all slipped roughly 5% each. Expedia Group and hotel chain Marriott both declined by roughly 3% each. Meanwhile, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Royal Caribbean Cruises all fell as well.
Some argue the plunge on Monday is nothing to fear. The sell-off in stocks is a "healthy pullback" that will likely be short-lived and could present a buying opportunity, said technical analyst Katie Stockton of Fairlead Strategies.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its recent slide, falling as much as 3.4% to $30,646.90. All other major cryptocurrencies – ether, cardano, ripple, dogecoin, polkadot, and solana – traded lower on Monday.
Despite the downturn, mining bitcoin has been a lot easier. The asset's "network difficulty," which measures how much computing power is needed to mint a new bitcoin, has plummeted.
Oil fell on news over the weekend that OPEC+ reached a deal on supply, overcoming the deadlock between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Gold fell as much as 0.45%, to $1,807.56 per ounce.