Wall Street’s main stock indexes all finished in the red on Monday as soaring COVID-19 infections in the United States and the continuing deadlock in Washington over a new round of coronavirus relief aid weighed on investor sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 650.19 points or 2.29 percent at 27,685.38.
The S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings reports – finished down 1.86 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session down 1.64 percent.
The US is seeing its highest number of new COVID-19 infections in the past two days, which means business-sapping restrictions and lockdowns could be in the cards.
El Paso, Texas has already ordered citizens to stay at home for the next two weeks.
Cases are surging in Europe, where Italy and Spain imposed new restrictions, curfews and lockdowns. Officials are warning citizens of a tough season ahead.
As the pandemic intensifies, investors are growing increasingly weary over Washington’s inability to come together on a new round of coronavirus relief aid that would help millions of Americans put food on the table, pay their rent and mortgages, and pull businesses back from the brink of bankruptcy.
Few expect Democrats and the White House to overcome their partisan differences in time to pass a new stimulus package before the November 3 election.
Democratic Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday in back-to-back CNN interviews traded accusations and offered little comfort to the American people.
“We continue to make offer after offer after offer, and Nancy Pelosi keeps moving the goalposts,” Meadows told CNN’s State of the Union programme.
“They keep moving the goalposts,” Pelosi retorted in a separate interview on the same programme.
US President Donald Trump has offered to sign a $1.88bn package, but Democrats have held out for $2.2bn.
More than 59.1 million Americans have already voted for their next president as Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden enter their final full week of campaigning.
This week, Wall Street expects to see third-quarter earnings from US tech titans Apple, Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Facebook.
Among stocks making news on Monday:
Shares of Hasbro closed down 9.34 percent. The company reported third-quarter revenue and profits that beat analysts’ estimates as families splurged on board games during lockdowns. But the toymaker failed to impress investors after rival Mattel shattered expectations when it reported earnings last week.
Bucking the downward trend was Dunkin’ Brands Group. Shares of the coffee and doughnuts chain giant finished the session up more than 16 percent after the company confirmed that it has held talks to be taken private by a private equity firm.