U.S. stocks dropped the most in more than a week amid a renewal of uncertainty over how quickly states can emerge from lockdowns. Oil rallied for a second day.
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% in volatile trading, led by declines in utilities, energy ad industrial shares. On the week, the benchmark index closed up 1.9%. Stocks had rallied amid reports that China plans to accelerate purchases of American farm goods to comply with the phase one U.S. trade deal, only to have the gained erased after data show record levels of Covid 19 in Florida and Arizona. Investors were whipsawed by bouts of volatility as a welter of options expired in a quarterly event know as quadruple witching.
“That’s a worrisome sign for markets,”said Matt Forester, chief investment officer of BNY Mellon’s Lockwood Advisors. “This is a continuation of the first wave, this is not a second wave.”
In Europe, investors focused on negotiations over the EU’s proposed 750 billion-euro ($840 billion) program to help economies rebound from lockdowns, which helped send the Stoxx 600 Index up about 0.6%.
Investors have been betting that governments will be able to put their economies back on track with enough stimulus at their disposal. U.S. and European benchmarks clawed back a portion of last week’s losses that were spurred by concern over a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Elsewhere, crude oil settled at the higher level in a week after briefly advancing beyond $40 a barrel.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% to 3,097.74 as of 4:15 p.m. EDT, the largest fall in more than a week.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.8% to 25,871.46, the biggest fall in more than a week.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed at 9,946.13, hitting the highest in more than a week with its sixth consecutive advance.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed at 1,220.40, the highest in three weeks.
The euro decreased 0.2% to $1.118, the weakest in more than two weeks.