Shares fell in the afternoon of trading on Wall Street on Monday into a slow start to the week after the market’s best weekly gain since February.
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% at 2:50 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 228 points, or 0.6%, to 35,744 and the Nasdaq was down 0.9%.
Smaller company stocks have held up less well than the broader market, indicating that investors are concerned about economic growth. The Russell 2000 lost 1.2%.
A wide range of retailers that rely on direct consumer spending have suffered some of the biggest losses. Hanesbrands fell 5.4%.
Automakers and travel-related businesses also fell. Ford fell 3.9% and Carnival fell 5%.
Bond yields have fallen. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.43% from 1.49% on Friday night. This has taken a toll on banks, which rely on higher bond yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Capital One fell 2.3%.
Industrial and energy companies have also declined.
Sectors considered less risky, including utilities and manufacturers of household products, held up better than the rest of the market. Healthcare companies have also gained ground.
Several large pharmaceutical companies stood out. Moderna climbed 5.9% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Pfizer rose 4.3% on news of the purchase of Arena Pharmaceuticals. Bristol Myers Squibb rose 4.6%.
Harley-Davidson rose 5.8% after announcing it would go public with its electric motorcycle division through a blank check company, valuing the company that has been part of the motorcycle maker for 10 years at $ 1.77 billion.
Investors will be watching several economic reports this week and the Federal Reserve for more information on economic growth as 2021 draws to a close and the world continues to try to rid itself of the impact of COVID-19.
Wall Street will receive an inflation update on Tuesday when the Department of Labor releases its Producer Price Index for November, which shows the impact of inflation on costs for businesses. This report will be particularly important with the Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The persistent rise in inflation prompted the central bank to accelerate its plan to curtail bond purchases which have helped keep interest rates low. Investors will be listening to any statements that add details on the timing of this plan and any clues about the impact it may have on how quickly benchmark interest rates will be raised in 2022.