Concerns about the impact of the newfound Omicron form of the coronavirus on the global economy prompted a sharp drop in US stocks on Monday, December 20, 2021, with the major averages all falling into negative territory. The fast-spreading variant is already present in about 90 countries.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate plan suffered a major setback after U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who is crucial to Biden’s prospects of passing the bill, indicated on Sunday that he would not support it.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 433.28 points, or 1.23 percent, to 34,932.16 at the close of business. The S&P500 index fell 52.62 points to 4,568.02, a decline of 1.14 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is heavily weighted in technology, fell 188.74 points, or 1.24%, to 14,980.94.
The total amount of shares traded on US exchanges was 9.78 billion shares, down from 17.27 billion shares the day before. On the New York Stock Exchange, declining equities outweighed advancing ones by 2724 to 662, with 126 remaining unchanged.
On the NASDAQ, 3406 issues rose, 1275 dropped, and 217 remained unchanged.
Financials (down 1.9 percent), materials (down 1.82 percent), industrials (down 1.65 percent), and consumer discretionary (down 1.65 percent) were the worst performers among the 11 major S&P 500 sector indices (down 1.65 percent ).
According to the World Health Organization, the omicron variety is rampaging over the world, with the number of cases doubling every 1.5 to 3 days in regions with community transmission. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Covid cases in the United States is increasing as the year draws to a close, with more than 156,000 cases reported on Friday.
The market was dragged down by financial stocks, with Goldman Sachs down 2.6 percent and Wells Fargo down roughly 2.3 percent. JPMorgan and Bank of America both saw their stock prices fall by 1.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Energy company stocks also fell as crude oil prices fell amid fears that the rollout of the Omicron model would reduce demand for fuel. Devon Energy dropped 2.4 percent, while Exxon Mobil fell 1.5 percent. HDFC Bank was down 2.24 percent to $61.97, WNS Holdings was down 0.64 percent to $83.66, INFOSYS was down 1.46 percent to $23.69, ICICI Bank was down 2% to $18.44, Tata Motors was down 2.77 percent to $29.471, and Azure Power Global was down 1% to $18.05. Dr Reddys Labs is now trading at $60.66, up 0.35 percent. Wipro ended the day unchanged at $9.01.