US stocks fell sharply 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.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 935 points – or 2.7% – at intraday lows, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also sunk.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined as much as 12 basis points to 1.17%, its lowest level since February. The activity reflected an acceleration in investor interest in safe-haven assets.
The rising cases, which may result in a new wave of lockdown restrictions, weighed on markets. The Delta variant is view by many experts as the most transmissible variant yet.
Here’s where US indexes stood at 12:50 p.m. ET on Monday:
“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.”
Elsewhere, 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 continued its recent slide, falling as much as 3.8% to $30,440.29. 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.
Gold fell as much as 0.9%, to $1,795.10 per ounce.