Stocks pulled back below their recent record levels on Wall Street Monday as the market’s momentum slows down following its best week since February. The S&P 500 fell 0.9%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave up 1.4% Technology, energy and travel-related companies had some of the biggest losses. Nvidia, General Motors, and Devon Energy were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Pfizer rose after announcing a deal to acquire Arena Pharmaceuticals, and Harley-Davidson rose after saying it will take its electric motorcycle division public through a blank-check company. Treasury yields fell.
Stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday in a sluggish start to the week following the market’s best weekly gain since February.
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% as of 2:50 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 228 points, or 0.6%, to 35,744 and the Nasdaq fell 0.9%.
Smaller company stocks fared worse than the broader market in a signal that investors are concerned about economic growth. The Russell 2000 shed 1.2%.
A wide range of retailers that rely on direct consumer spending had some of the biggest losses. Hanesbrands fell 5.4%.
Automakers and travel-related companies also fell. Ford fell 3.9% and Carnival dropped 5%.
Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.43% from 1.49% late Friday. That weighed on banks, which rely on higher bond yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Capital One fell 2.3%.
Industrial and energy companies also moved lower.
Sectors that are considered less risky, including utilities and household product makers, held up better than the rest of the market. Health care companies also gained ground.
Several big pharmaceutical companies were standouts. Moderna climbed 5.9% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Pfizer rose 4.3% following news it is buying Arena Pharmaceuticals. Bristol Myers Squibb rose 4.6%.
Harley-Davidson rose 5.8% after saying it will take its electric motorcycle division public through a blank-check company, valuing the enterprise that has been part of the motorcycle maker for 10 years at $1.77 billion.
Investors will be monitoring several economic reports this week and the Federal Reserve to gain more insight into economic growth as 2021 comes to a close and the world continues to try and shake off the impact from COVID-19.
Wall Street will get an inflation update on Tuesday when the Labor Department releases its Producer Price Index for November, which shows how inflation is impacting costs for businesses. That report will be especially important with the Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Persistently rising inflation has prompted the central bank to hasten its plan to trim bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low. Investors will be listening for any statements that add detail to the timing of that plan and hints at how that might impact how soon benchmark interest rates are increased in 2022.