Stocks Drop Amid COVID Variant Fears

Tesla shares slump in S&P 500 debut
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2020 3:52 PM CST
Stocks Drop Amid COVID Variant Fears
A woman walks past a bank's electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Shares started the week out on a sour note in Asia amid worsening coronavirus outbreaks.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Stocks ended lower on Wall Street as a new, potentially more infectious strain of the coronavirus has countries around the world restricting travel from the United Kingdom, raising worries that the economy is about to take even worse punishment. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% Monday, its second straight drop after setting its record on Thursday. The index pared its loss as the day progressed, recovering from an earlier 2% drop. The vast majority of stocks on Wall Street fell, but gains for Nike and Goldman Sachs helped prop up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the AP reports. The S&P 500 fell 14.49 points to 3,694.92. The Dow Jones rose 37.40 points or 0.12%, to 30,216.45. The Nasdaq dropped 13.12 points, or 0.10%, to 12,742.52.

It was a busy day of trading, with plenty of forces pushing and pulling the market. Shares in Tesla, which jumped 6% Friday ahead of its S&P 500 debut, fell 6.5% on its first day on the index, reports Reuters. Thin trading ahead of a holiday-shortened week may also be exacerbating moves, analysts said. Crude oil prices were also dropping on worries about disappearing demand, and Treasury yields slipped. One big factor for the market is Congress, which finally appears set to act on a $900 billion relief effort for the economy. House and Senate leaders are planning to vote Monday on the deal, which would include $600 in cash payments sent to most Americans, extra benefits for laid-off workers, and other financial support.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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