Stocks on Wall Street dipped on Monday, with the S&P 500, the benchmark U.S. index, losing 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite dropping 2.1 percent.
Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft all closed more than 2 percent lower, while Facebook was off 4.9 percent. The biggest tech companies have enormous sway on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 has fallen 5.2 percent since its Sept. 2 record, as investors have weighed concerns about continuing disruptions to the economy and supply chains by the Delta variant and the effects of political brinkmanship on the economy. They have also been eyeing plans by the Federal Reserve to start cutting back — or tapering — the $120 billion in bonds it has been buying each month during the pandemic.
“The rally we’ve had in the stock market has been in the back of supportive policy from the government and central banks,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior financial markets analyst at Forex.com. “When you move toward tapering, you’re moving toward higher interest rates, and that’s not as beneficial for businesses as that easy money we’ve had in the past year and a half.”
Oil prices rose on Monday, with West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, up 2.3 percent to $77.62 a barrel. The benchmark rose above $78 earlier on Monday, hitting its highest price since 2014. Officials from OPEC, Russia and other oil producers met Monday and decided to stick with their previous agreement to only gradually add oil to the market despite rising demand for energy. Shares of Devon Energy Corporation gained 5.3 percent, while Diamondback Energy rose 4.6 percent.
On Sunday, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who is scheduled to testify before Congress on Tuesday, appeared on “60 Minutes” to discuss the social media giant’s business practices. “Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” Ms. Haugen said on the program. The social media giant’s shares started the day down nearly 4 percent.
Then, Facebook’s apps, which also include Instagram and WhatsApp, went down for an extended period on Monday for many users, dragging its shares even lower. While it is common for websites to go down briefly, an outage the size and scope of Monday’s is rare.
A Senate vote on a stand-alone bill that would lift the statutory limit on federal borrowing until December 2022 is expected to fail amid a Republican filibuster. Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, has told Congress that if the limit is not raised by Oct. 18 the federal government will default on its debt. President Biden called Republicans “reckless” and “disgraceful” on Monday for obstructing the vote and warned that Americans could see the effects as early as this week if Senate Democrats were not able to vote to raise the debt ceiling.
Ongoing supply chain disruptions are also in the back of investors’ minds. Overseas, complete or partial factory shutdowns due to outbreaks of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, as well as power outages, have led to shipping delays and rising costs.
“Where we see November and December going will depend a lot on how companies see their outlook,” said Ms. Cincotta. “We could see some struggles given the headwinds the economy faces as far as the energy crisis and supply chain disruptions are concerned, which won’t be resolved quickly.”
Shares of China Evergrande were suspended on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on Monday after reports of a “major transaction.” The real estate developer has been under close watch by foreign investors after it missed two important interest payments on U.S. dollar bonds.
Yields on government bonds rose as investors sold some of their safer assets. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage points, to 1.49 percent.
European stock indexes were lower, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.5 percent.