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USA today

NEW YORK (AP) – Shares fell sharply at the start of trading on Wall Street on Monday, joining a global market tumble as the S&P 500 fell nearly 2%.

Losses began in Asia as soon as trading opened for the week, and they accelerated in Europe on concerns about the possibility of tougher restrictions on public life due to rising coronavirus bills there before hitting US equities and government returns lower.

The losses were extensive, with almost all stocks in the S&P 500 lower. The index fell by 1.7% after previously falling 2.1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 591 points, or 2.1%, at 27,065, at 9:49 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite fell 1.2%. In another sign of increased concern, the yield on the 10-year treasury fell to 0.65% from 0.69% late on Friday.

Wall Street has been shaky this month, and the S&P 500 has pulled back about 9% since breaking records on September 2 in a long list of investor concerns. The chief among them is the fear that stocks became too expensive when the number of coronaviruses continued to deteriorate, tensions between the United States and China increased, Congress could not provide more aid to the economy and a controversial election in the United States was approaching.

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Bank shares suffered heavy losses Monday morning after a report claimed that several of them continue to take advantage of illegal transactions with criminal networks, despite having previously been fined for similar measures.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said that documents show that JPMorgan Chase transferred money to people and companies involved in the massive looting of public funds in, for example, Malaysia, Venezuela and Ukraine. Its shares fell by 2.8%.

Big Tech stocks also struggled again, much as they have done since the market accelerated earlier this month. Amazon, Microsoft and other companies had increased as the pandemic accelerated work from home and other trends that increased their profits. But critics said their prices simply climbed too high, even after reporting their explosive growth.

Amazon fell 1.2% and Microsoft lost 1.6%.

Tech’s losses have helped pull the S&P 500 to three straight weekly losses, the first time in almost a year.

Shares in the start-up of electric and hydrogen-powered trucks Nikola plunged 18.9% after the founder resigned amid allegations of fraud. The company has called the allegations false and misleading.

General Motors, which recently signed a partnership agreement where it would take a stake in Nikola, fell by 5.6%.

Investors are also worried about the declining prospects that Congress may soon provide more support to the economy. Many investors call such a stimulus crucial after extra weekly unemployment benefits and other Capitol Hill support expired. But party-political disagreements have hindered all renewal.

“With 43 days to go until the US election, fingers crossed can be the least you can do when it comes to financial stimulus hopes,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.

The partisan rancor only continues to rise in the country, with a vacancy at the Supreme Court the latest flashpoint after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies also weigh on the markets. President Donald Trump has particularly targeted Chinese technology companies, and the Department of Commerce on Friday announced a list of bans that could eventually ease U.S. operations for Chinese-owned apps TikTok and WeChat. The government cited issues of national security and data protection.

A U.S. judge over the weekend ordered a delay in the restrictions for WeChat, a communications app popular with Chinese-speaking Americans, due to the first amendment. Trump also said on Saturday that he gave his blessing over a deal between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart to create a new company that would satisfy his concerns.

Oracle rose 3.3% and Walmart rose 1.1%, among the few companies that rose on Monday.

On top of the market is the continuing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the global economy.

On Sunday, the British government reported 4,422 new coronavirus infections, the largest daily increase since early May. An official estimate shows new cases and hospital admissions double every week.

The FTSE 100 in London fell by 2.9%. Other European markets were equally weak. The German DAX lost 3.2% and the French CAC 40 fell 2.9%.

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.1%, South Korea’s Kospi fell 1% and Shanghai shares lost 0.6%.

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AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed.

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