September 22, 2021

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

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 33962.04 -725.81 -2.09%
SP500 S&P 500 4258.49 -68.67 -1.59%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14274.984078 -152.25 -1.06%

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. 146.97 -4.94 -3.25%
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 36.93 -0.99 -2.61%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 65.08 -1.82 -2.72%

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. 38.56 -1.50 -3.74%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 19.70 -1.23 -5.88%
LVS LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP. 47.34 -0.48 -1.00%
SHAK SHAKE SHACK 90.86 -1.83 -1.97%

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. 354.20 -7.77 -2.15%
FIVN FIVE9, INC. 188.12 +10.52 +5.92%

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 166.88 -1.22 -0.73%

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.