The Dow (INDU)
fell 1,000 points, or 3%, at midday.
The S&P 500 (SPX)
, the broadest measure of the US equity market, was on track to end the day in correction territory — a 10% drop from its most recent peak.
The S&P 500 was trading 3.7% lower at midday. Last week, the index logged its worst week since March 2020.
Each day last week, stocks fared worse in the final hour of trading, which tends to be a bad sign for the next day, said TD Ameritrade chief market strategist JJ Kinahan. That negative sentiment continued Monday.
A lot to digest
Investors also have a lot on their plate this week.
Earnings season has moved on to Big Tech, including Microsoft (MSFT)
, IBM (IBM)
, Intel (INTC)
and Apple (AAPL)
, which report results this week.
Then there’s the Fed meeting, concluding with Wednesday’s policy statement and subsequent press conference. As of Monday morning, market expectations for this week are that the central bank will keep interest rates near zero for a little longer, according to the CME FedWatch tool
. But for the next meeting, which isn’t until March, expectations of a quarter-percentage-point rate hike are above 80%.
Expectations are only part of the game. The Fed could also conclude that inflation has run too hot at the end of 2021 and crank up rates more — or sooner.
Treasury yields, which track interest rate expectations, were off last week’s highs Monday. The 10-year bond yielded 1.72% at midday after climbing past 1.8% for the first time since before the pandemic last week.
While the Fed is trying to get inflation down by normalizing its pandemic-era policies, the US economy is grappling with the fallout from the Omicron variant
. America’s private sector output growth slowed in January as the highly infectious variant put more pressure on the already-battered supply chain and existing labor shortage, according to the IHS Markit flash composite purchasing managers’ index
Making matters worse, investors are anxiously watching
the situation in Ukraine
as fears mount that the country could be invaded by Russia.
The news that the United States and United Kingdom are withdrawing some staff from the local embassies
isn’t exactly breeding confidence the situation will resolve quickly and European stock markets are sharply lower as well.
Commodities markets are feeling the pressure of the rising tensions and analysts believe oil prices could soar if the situation escalated. On Monday, however, US oil prices fell 3.3%, or nearly $2.90 per barrel, to $82.31 at midday.
— CNN Business’ Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.