Dow falls 500 points as fears grow over spread of COVID-19 Delta variant

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US stocks fell Monday as investors eye a spike in global COVID-19 cases led by the Delta variant, creating a roadblock to a full recovery of the economy.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 500 points at the open.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 1.217%, down 8.2 basis points on the day, reflecting the pickup in investor desire for safe-haven assets.

The rising cases, which may result in a new wave of lockdown restrictions, weighed on markets. The Delta variant, according to health experts, is the most transmissible variant yet.

“The market appears ready to take on a more defensive character as we experience a meaningful deceleration in earnings and economic growth,” Morgan Stanley strategists led by Michael Wilson said in a note on Monday. “Inventory builds are unlikely to offset if order books prove to be inflated as we suspect.”

On Friday, US stocks closed lower, recording their first weekly loss in a month.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Monday:

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has scrapped his plan to buy 10% of Universal Music for $4 billion through his SPAC after federal regulators cast doubt on the proposed transaction, he told shareholders in a letter on Monday.

Robinhood is aiming to raise as much as $2.3 billion in its upcoming stock market debut, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin has continued its slide, trading at $30,742.54 and inching near its widely viewed key technical support level of $30,000. All other major cryptocurrencies – ether, cardano, ripple, dogecoin, polkadot , and solana – were trading lower Monday morning.

Oil fell after OPEC+ reached a deal on supply, overcoming the deadlock between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 3.68%, to $69.17 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 3.41%, to $71.08 per barrel.

Gold fell 0.63%, to $1,804.27 per ounce. The precious metal has shed roughly $30 compared to the monthly high on July 15.

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