Stocks sink as U.S., Europe battle virus resurgence

Stocks pointed sharply lower Monday as new data showed a jump in COVID-19 cases in both the U.S. and Europe. Restrictions tightened across major countries overseas, raising the specter of a further pullback in business operations and deeper anchor on global economic activity.

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Shares of companies set to benefit from a broader economic reopening including airlines like American Airlines (AAL), cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and hotels like Wynn Resorts (WYNN) sank. Shares of AstraZeneca (AZN), on the other hand, outperformed after the Financial Times reported that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed with the University of Oxford produced a robust immune response in elderly individuals.

The U.S. posted back-to-back days of record-high new virus cases over the weekend, with new virus cases topping 80,000 for each of Friday and Saturday. States in the West and Midwest have been hardest hit by the latest jump in cases.

France endured its own record-high day for new coronavirus cases on Sunday, when the country reported more than 52,000 positive cases over a 24-hour period. Two-thirds of the country became subject to a previously announced 9 p.m. curfew starting Friday night. In Italy, which hit a record-high for new cases last week, new business restrictions came into effect Sunday. Spain declared a state of emergency over the weekend, which also included a country-wide curfew.

“Markets ultimately care about the economic impact of pandemic news,” UBS economist Paul Donovan said in a note Monday morning. “Italy and Spain have followed France in adopting the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ approach (it is not safe to be out of doors after dark). This is obviously bad news for bars and restaurants, but more positive for supermarkets and home entertainment.”

Elsewhere, shares of Boeing (BA), Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Raytheon Technologies (RTX) came under pressure in early trading after China said it would impose sanctions on the defense units of both companies, following the U.S. approval of a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan last week. China, which considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, has not yet specified the sanctions that will be put into place.

9:31 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower as virus concerns spike

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:31 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -32.73 points (-0.94%) to 3,432.66

  • Dow (^DJI): -298.90 points (-1.05%) to 28,036.67

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -90.08 points (-0.77%) to 11,458.82

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.81 (-2.03%) to $39.04 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$1.80 (-0.09%) to $1,903.40 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.5 bps to yield 0.816%

8:28 a.m. ET: Ant Group prices IPO on track to raise nearly $35 billion in record public debut

Ant Group, the Chinese financial technology company started by Jack Ma, on Monday priced its dual initial public offerings in Shanghai and Hong Kong, putting the firm on track to raise about $35 billion in the world’s biggest-ever share sale.

The Shanghai stock was priced at 68.8 yuan, or $10.27, a share, while the Hong Kong shares were priced at HK$80, or $10.32 each. Each IPO will therefore raise more than $17.2 billion, putting the company on track for an IPO of nearly $35 billion to top even the public debut of oil giant Saudi Aramco last year. According to Bloomberg data, Ant will be valued at about $280 billion ahead of its IPO.

7:28 a.m. ET Monday: Dow futures shed 200+ points as COVID-19 cases jump

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:28 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,423.00, down 28.75 points or 0.83%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 27,943.00, down 246 points or 0.87%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 11,585.5, down 78 points or 0.67%

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.78 (-1.96%) to $39.07 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$0.30 (+0.02%) to $1,905.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.7 bps to yield 0.814%



a man standing in front of a building talking on a cell phone: People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in lower Manhattan on October 5, 2020 in New York City. - Stock markets bounced back on reports suggesting Donald Trump's health had improved after his positive test for the coronavirus, with traders also cheered by signs that U.S. lawmakers were edging towards agreement on a new stimulus package. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)


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People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in lower Manhattan on October 5, 2020 in New York City. – Stock markets bounced back on reports suggesting Donald Trump’s health had improved after his positive test for the coronavirus, with traders also cheered by signs that U.S. lawmakers were edging towards agreement on a new stimulus package. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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