Dow Jones falls 410 points as COVID-19 stimulus deadline nears

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 410 points on Monday as a deadline on another round of stimulus imposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew nearer without progress toward a deal. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Oct. 19 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 400 points on Monday as negotiations over another round of COVID-19 stimulus continued to drag on.

The blue-chip index dropped 410.89 points, or 1.44%, while the S&P 500 fell 1.63% and the Nasdaq Composite ended the day down 1.65% as a deadline for Congress to pass the new stimulus bill drew nearer without much progress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday gave the Trump administration 48 hours to reach a deal with Congress before the Nov. 3 election.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were set to meet on Monday, but markets hit a downturn as it appeared increasingly unlikely a deal would be reached.

Shortly after markets closed, however, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted that she and Mnuchin spoke for about 53 minutes and “continued to narrow their differences.”

“The speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election,” Hammill wrote, adding the pair would speak again on Tuesday.

Robert McAdie, chief cross-asset strategist at BNP Paribas, told The Wall Street Journal that stimulus will be necessary to fuel the U.S. economy amid the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Without renewed fiscal stimulus you’ll see a new wave of unemployment and a new wave of delinquencies and defaults and that will certainly weigh on growth,” said McAdie.

Major tech stocks helped to lead the decline as Apple stock fell 2.55%, Microsoft declined 2.48%, Alphabet dropped 2.41%, Amazon lost 2% and Facebook ended the day down 1.7%.

The tech sector of the S&P 500 also fell 1.9% while energy declined 1.7%.

Monday’s decline came after a turbulent week of trading that saw the S&P 500 and Dow drop for three consecutive days before posting slight gains on Friday.


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