US stock sell-off deepens as China lockdown concerns stoke global growth worries

view original post
  • Stocks fell Monday on worries that Beijing is facing a mass lockdown as COVID infections spread. 
  • The S&P 500, which is back in correction territory, is on track for lose ground for a fourth straight session. 
  • Twitter was in focus as Elon Musk reportedly nears a deal to buy the company. 

Stocks fell Monday as the risk of widening COVID lockdowns in China inflamed worries about global economic growth.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were on course to fall for a fourth straight session. Stocks were rattled as the city of Beijing enacted COVID testing for millions of residents because of a spike in infections. 

Residents were racing to buy a range of supplies ahead of a potential mass lockdown in the city, potentially joining others under similar conditions. Shanghai, China’s largest city, was moving into its fourth week of lockdowns, and other areas are under restrictions. Chinese stocks as measured by the CSI 300 fell to a two-year low on Monday, and US stock market’s so-called fear gauge, the Cboe VIX Volatility Index, rose to around a six-week high.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Monday:    

The S&P 500 slumped 2.8% last week, weighed in part by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell saying a hefty rate increase of half a percentage point will be considered at the May meeting.

“[Fears] of 50 or even 75 bps hikes at upcoming meetings are what really have investors on edge. The S&P 500 is already in correction territory while the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 are closer to bear market territory,” said Bespoke Investment Group. “How far the markets ultimately fall is anyone’s guess, but by the time the Fed actually goes ahead and starts the aggressive pace of hikes, the market will likely have discounted much of it already.”

Meanwhile, Twitter shares rose with Elon Musk reportedly nearing a deal to buy the social media company. 

Elsewhere around the markets, energy historian Daniel Yergin said a ban on Russian crude is the EU’s easiest choice among a range of tough options on sanctions. 

“Big Short” investor Michael Burry quit Twitter again and complained he warned people that stocks would tumble.

Palm oil prices soared after Indonesia said it will ban exports of the commodity to bring down domestic prices.  

Oil prices tumbled. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 4.9% to $97.10 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, lost 4.8% to $101.02.

Gold lost 1.3% to $1,908.80 per ounce. The 10-year yield sank 10 basis points to 2.80%. 

Bitcoin fell 1.8% to $38,846.16.