- L3Harris slides after $4.7 bln Aerojet buyout
- Fed policy worries dominate mood
- Indexes down: Dow 0.85%, S&P 1.19%, Nasdaq 1.64%
Dec 19 (Reuters) – Wall Street equities were in the red on Monday with Nasdaq leading declines as investors worried the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tightening campaign could push the US economy into a recession.
The three major US stock indexes were on track for the fourth straight day of declines since Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell took a more hawkish tone than expected when the central bank raised interest rates. Powell promised further increases even as weak data showed signs of a weakening economy.
The S&P 500 (.SPX), the Dow Industrials (.DJI) and the Nasdaq have sold off sharply for December, on track their biggest annual declines since the 2008 financial crisis.
With no big earnings reports or economic data on Monday, investors focused on fears about the economy and interest rates, according to Melissa Brown, Global Head of Applied Research at Qontigo in New York.
“It’s a knife edge between whether we’re going to teeter into a recession or have a soft landing. Is the Fed acting appropriately?” said Brown who also noted that moves may be exaggerated as many investors take vacation around the end-of-year holidays.
“Investors have not necessarily changed their view in aggregate but those who have are driving the market right now and driving bigger changes in stock prices because of low trading volume,” she said.
By 2:27 pm ET (1927 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 278.55 points, or 0.85%, to 32,641.91, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 45.88 points, or 1.19%, to 3,806.48 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 175.96 points, or 1.64%, to 10,529.45.
The biggest sector decliners on the day were communications services (.SPLRCL), technology (.SPLRCT) and consumer discretionary (.SPLRCD). The strongest sector was energy (.SPNY), which was last down 0.4%.
Market heavyweights such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) created some of the biggest drags on the market.
Trading in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) was volatile with the electric carmaker’s stock last down 0.5% after falling as much as 2.8% during the session following a Twitter poll that showed a majority of respondents want Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk to step down as CEO of the social media platform.
Meta Platforms (META.O) was down 3.9% after the European Commission said it could impose a fine of up to 10% of the tech conglomerate’s annual global turnover if evidence showed an infringement of the EU’s antitrust laws.
L3Harris Technologies Inc (LHX.N) was down 2.8% after the US defense contractor said it would buy hypersonic engine manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc (AJRD.N) for $4.7 billion. Aerojet added 1.5%.
Shares of casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment were down more than 9%; Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N) fall almost 2%; and Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O) fell more than 5% after Macau said on Friday that six casino firms will invest around $15 billion as part of new 10-year contracts they signed to operate in the world’s biggest gambling hub.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 3.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.81-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 5 new 52-week highs and 17 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 45 new highs and 393 new lows.
Reporting by Sinéad Carew, Sruthi Shankar, Shubham Batra, Johann M Cherian and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Maju Samuel and David Gregorio
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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