US equities pulled back on Mon ahead of a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers. “Big Tech” and “reopening” stocks led the declines.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 320.04 pts, or 0.89%, to close at 35,650.95. The broader S&P 500 index fell 0.91%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreated 1.39%. The small cap Russell 2000 dropped 1.42%.
The Fed will announce the results of its meeting on Wed. A Bloomberg survey of economists’ forecasts that Fed policymakers will quicken its tapering and signal a rate increase lift-off in 2022.
Apple (AAPL US) shares fell 2.7% on Mon.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Mon that at least one patient infected with the omicron variant has died in the country. Johnson warned of an “omicron tidal wave.”
Boeing (BA US, -3.7%) was the biggest loser in the Dow. American Airlines (AAL US, -4.9%), Delta Air Lines (DAL US, -3.4%), United Airlines (UAL US, -5.2%), and cruise-line Carnival Corp (CCL US, -4.9%) all fell.
A bright spot were drug makers. Moderna (MRNA US, +5.81%), Bristol (BMY US, +4.77%), and Pfizer (PFE US, +4.59%) rose. Pfizer said on Mon it would buy drug developer Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA US, +80.4%) for US$6.7b, to add a promising treatment candidate that targets Crohn's disease.
The 10-year Treasury note yield slipped 6.81 basis points (bps) to 1.4156%.
The most actively traded US gold futures (Feb) contracts settled up $3.50, or 0.2%, at US$1,788.30/oz. March silver, which is the most actively traded silver futures, rose 13.3 cents, or 0.6%, to end at US$22.328/oz.
The ICE dollar index (DXY), which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.23% to 96.317.
The front-month Brent and WTI futures closed down 76 cents at US$74.39/bbl and 38 cents at US$71.29/bbl respectively.
European equity markets finished lower on Mon. The UK FTSE lost 0.83%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.70%, while the German DAX retreated 0.01%.