Dow posts biggest single-day drop this year as COVID-19 worries resurface

Oil tumbles as OPEC, allies reach deal to raise production

U.S. stock markets suffered among their steepest single-day declines of the year on Monday as the recent rise in COVID-19 infections stoked fears of an economic slowdown. 

New COVID-19 infections jumped 70% last week to about 30,000 a day as the Delta variant continued to spread. Deaths rose to an average of 250 a day, mostly in unvaccinated people. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35058.52 -85.79 -0.24%
SP500 S&P 500 4401.46 -20.84 -0.47%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14660.575708 -180.14 -1.21%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 724 points, or 2.09% the worst session of 2021. While the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.58% and 1.06%, respectively, the worst drop since May. 

Selling in the equity markets caused investors to seek safety in the U.S. Treasury market with the yield on the 10-year note falling 10 basis points to 1.18%, the lowest since March of 2020 as tracked by Dow Jones Market Data Group. 

In stocks, rate-sensitive banks, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., were lower. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 151.45 -0.20 -0.13%
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 37.98 -0.15 -0.39%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 67.98 +0.21 +0.31%

Stocks tied to the reopening of the global economy were under extra pressure including Delta Air Lines Inc., Carnival Corp. and Las Vegas Sands Corp., amid concerns a COVID-19 resurgence could cause virus-wary travelers to stay home. Restaurants also taking a hit. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES, INC. 40.96 -0.71 -1.70%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 22.80 -0.36 -1.55%
LVS LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP. 43.62 -1.73 -3.81%
SHAK SHAKE SHACK 103.09 -1.17 -1.12%

Meanwhile, energy companies were in the crosshairs as West Texas Intermediate crude oil tumbled $5.39 to $66.42 a barrel, the lowest since May 28, after OPEC and its allies agreed to raise production by an additional 2 million barrels per day beginning in August. 

In deals, Zoom Video Communications Inc. agreed to buy cloud-based call center operator Five9 Inc. for $14.7 billion in stock. The deal, which was done at a 13% premium to Five9’s closing price on Friday, will pay Five9 shareholders 0.5533 Zoom shares for each Five9 share they own. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 367.54 -5.60 -1.50%
FIVN FIVE9, INC. 195.65 -2.72 -1.37%

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson is considering a plan that would put its Baby Powder and other talc-related operations into a new business that would then file for bankruptcy, Reuters reports, citing seven people familiar with the matter. Such a move could result in lower payouts for lawsuits not settled before a bankruptcy filing. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 172.66 +0.79 +0.46%

Overseas markets were sharply lower. 

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European bourses were sharply lower with Germany’s DAX 30 slipping 2.62, France's CAC 40 losing 2.54% and Britain’s FTSE 100 falling 2.34%. 

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slid 1.84%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.25% and China’s Shanghai Composite was little changed.