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Stock market live Monday: Dow slides 600, VIX jumps above 30, reopening stocks lead losses

Stocks staged a broad sell-off on Monday as a record number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and stalled stimulus talks hurt sentiment. The move lower continues last week's declines, which saw the Dow and S&P snap three-week win streaks, while the Nasdaq Composite registered its first down week in five. So-called "stay at home" stocks were a bright spot on Monday, with Amazon, Netflix and Zoom Video among the few names in the green.

Monday's session by the numbers

  • Dow closed down 2.29% for its worst day since Sept. 3, closing below 28,000 for the first time since Oct. 6
  • Dow closed below its 50-day moving average level of 28,014.92 for the first time since Sept. 29
  • Dow is down 2.99% year to date
  • S&P 500 closed down 1.86% for its worst day since Sept. 23
  • S&P 500 closed below its 50-day moving average level of 3,408.3 for the first time since Oct. 6
  • S&P 500 is up 5.27% year to date
  • Eleven out of 11 sectors were negative Monday led by energy down 3.47%
  • The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.64% for its worst day since Oct. 19. — Gina Francolla, Jesse Pound

Dow closes down more than 600 points

The market indexes finished a dreary Monday off of session lows but still down sharply. The Dow lost 650 points, while the S&P 500 fell 1.9%. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative outperformer but still sank 1.6%. — Jesse Pound

Pelosi finishes call with Mnuchin but 'progress depends on' McConnell

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's spokesman said on Twitter that the Democratic leader remains "optimistic" about a pre-election deal after Monday's phone call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, spokesman Drew Hammill said that Democrats are still waiting on the White House to accept its language around Covid-19 testing and that "our progress depends on Leader McConnell agreeing to bipartisan, comprehensive legislation." — Jesse Pound

Market trimming losses in final hour

Stocks have eased back from their session lows as the end of the session approaches. The Dow last traded down 690 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 2% and 1.8%, respectively. — Jesse Pound

Volatility index climbs above 33

The Cboe Volatility Index extended its gain for the session to nearly 6 points and traded above the 33.4 level. The measure commonly known as the "fear gauge" is on track for its highest close since Sept. 3. If it closes above 33.6 it will the highest reading since June. — Jesse Pound

Final hour of trading: Stocks plunge to start the week

The major averages were sharply lower with an hour left in the trading session amid concerns over a spike in coronavirus cases and stalled stimulus talks. The Dow dropped 735 points, or 2.6%. The S&P 500 slid 2.1% and the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.9%. —Fred Imbert

Bernstein says no update from Pfizer on vaccine is potentially worrying

Pfizer management previously said that they expected to have an update on the company's Covid-19 vaccine in October. But the month is now nearing its end and the company still hasn't provided additional information, which Bernstein said could potentially be worrying. "Some investors have begun to ponder if this delay means the first interim analysis has missed, and, if so, what this means for the likely efficacy of the vaccine," the firm said in a note to clients.

Pfizer, which reports earnings on Tuesday before the opening bell, is developing its vaccine candidate in partnership with BioNTech. — Pippa Stevens

S&P 500 still well above next support level, BTIG says

The S&P 500 was still trading about 5% above its next support level despite Monday's sell-off, according to a note from BTIG's Julian Emanuel and Michael Chu.

"The market is likely to drift lower near term (first SPX support at 3,209) in the face of Stimulus disappointment ... Virus resurgence ... and intensifying Election uncertainty," the strategists said in a note Monday morning. — Jesse Pound

The election could be closer than investors think, strategist says

Wall Street may have been warming up to the idea of so-called Blue Wave as former President Joe Biden holds a sizeable lead in the national polls. However, Aegon Asset Management's Frank Rybinski thinks investors should brace themselves for a very close contest.

"A lot of the local races are a lot closer" than the national polls, said Rybinski, the firm's chief macro strategist. He also noted that a recent Gallup poll found that 56% of Americans thought they were better off today than they were four years ago.

"That's the first reading [on that question] above 50% that we've had going back like 40 years," he said. "If [former House Speaker] Tip O'Neill was right and all politics are local, you don't get more local than  your own household finances. That tells me this is going to be a much tighter race than the national polls suggest." —Fred Imbert

Longer term outlook 'keeps me optimistic,' Lindsey Bell says

Ally Invest Chief Investment Strategist Lindsey Bell pointed to rising Covid-19 cases and the sagging hopes for a stimulus deal as reasons for Monday's sell-off. Still, she said the outlook for next year and beyond served as motivation for investors to hold firm.

"Put it all together, and the setting feels eerily familiar. I'm keeping my eye on 2021 projections and the longer-term outlook. That keeps me optimistic about staying invested," Bell said. — Jesse Pound

Investors should buy this dip, UBS advisor says

Teresa Jacobsen, managing director at UBS Wealth Management, said she thinks investors should buy during Monday's market sell-off despite uncertainties around stimulus and the coronavirus pandemic.

"On a day like today where you're seeing volatility, this is giving investors a chance to build positions, and we're encouraging clients to use that volatility do so," Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen said there was the potential for a more dramatic sell-off in the short term but pointed to a strong earnings season so far and progress on vaccines as reasons for this to not be a protracted downturn.

"I think there a lot of positives over the longer term for investors," she said. — Jesse Pound

Pelosi says two sides still differ on testing plan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic lawmakers that she and the White House still disagree about health care portions of an additional stimulus bill, including a testing strategy for the coronavirus.

"In all of our legislation, we have stressed the importance of testing, but the Administration has never followed through. The Republicans' continued surrender to the virus – particularly amid the recent wave of cases – is official malfeasance," Pelosi said. "We must come to agreement as soon as possible. But we cannot accept the Administration's refusal to crush the virus, honor our heroes or put money in the pockets of the American people," she said. — Jesse Pound

Monday's double whammy serves as a 'harsh reminder,' strategist says

The sharp sell-off on Monday, triggered by a record surge in new coronavirus cases and waning hopes for a stimulus deal before the election, served as a reminder that we are not out of the woods yet in terms of the economic recovery, according to Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL. "The double whammy of a stalled stimulus bill and new highs in cases is a harsh reminder of the many worries that are still out there," Detrick said. "Most of the recent economic data has been strong, but when you see parts of Europe going back to rolling shutdowns, it reminds us this fight is still far from over." The Dow dropped 950 points at its session low in afternoon trading, and the S&P 500 last traded 2.7% lower.— Yun Li

Here are some of the biggest movers midday

  • Dunkin' Brands — Dunkin' shares spiked after the company said it was in early talks about potentially being acquired by Inspire Brands.
  • Hasbro — Shares of the toy maker fell sharply despite the company posting better-than-expected results for the previous quarter.
  • Lordstown Motors — The Ohio-based electric vehicle maker saw its stock briefly jump in the company's public-market debut. The stock began trading on Monday after a reverse merger with DiamondPeak Holdings, a SPAC.

Click here to read more. —Fred Imbert

Markets at midday: Stocks drop, Dow heads for worst day since September

The major averages were sharply lower on Monday as concerns over the growing number of U.S. coronavirus cases and a lack of fiscal stimulus dented market sentiment. The Dow traded more than 700 points lower, or 2.6%, and was headed for its biggest one-day drop since Sept. 3. The S&P 500 slid 2.1% and was on pace for it worst day since Sept. 23. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.7%. —Fred Imbert

Volatily Index jumps above 30

The Cboe Volatility Index jumped about 3.7 points to trade above 31.20 on Monday morning. The index, often called Wall Street's "fear gauge," hasn't closed above 30 since Sept. 8. The measure is still well below where it was during the coronavirus-sparked sell-off in March. — Jesse Pound

Stock sell-off accelerates

Stocks continued their downward march throughout morning trading. At the low, the Dow fell 714 points for a loss of 2.52%. The S&P 500 declined 2.14% at its low, while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 1.73%. — Pippa Stevens

Dow on pace to break below its 50-day moving average

Monday's sell-off has put the Dow Jones Industrial Average on pace to close below its 50-day moving average level of 28,021.68 for the first time since Sept. 29. The moving average is a widely watched momentum indicator. The 30-stock average has not closed below 28,000 since Oct. 6 when the Dow closed at 27,772.76.

The S&P 500 fell 1.4% in morning trading to around 3,418, just above its 50-day moving average level of 3,409.08. — Gina Francolla, Yun Li

Airlines, cruise line operators lead declines

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and stalled stimulus talks, airlines and cruise line operators led stocks lower on Monday. The two groups are especially sensitive to an uptick in coronavirus cases.

United Airlines dropped 4.6%, while Delta, American, Alaska Air and JetBlue were all down more than 3%.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Carnival all declined more than 7%. — Pippa Stevens

BlackRock downgrades Treasuries ahead of election

BlackRock on Monday downgraded U.S. Treasuries and upgraded their inflation-linked peers ahead of the election on a growing likelihood of significant fiscal expansion, which could trigger a rise in price pressures. "Markets are increasingly reflecting a unified Democratic government outcome that may lead to a significant fiscal expansion," Mike Pyle, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist said in a note. "This electoral outcome would bring forward the market pricing of the higher inflation regime that we were already reflecting in our strategic asset views." The benchmark 10-year yield, which moves opposite prices, hit a four-month high of 0.84% last week. — Yun Li

Netflix, Amazon in the green

Amid a broad sell-off on Monday, Netflix and Amazon were among the stocks trading in the green. The two tech companies are seen as beneficiaries of stay-at-home trends, and as Covid-19 cases surge across the U.S. and the world, investors wagered they could be set to accelerate gains. Each stock was about 1.5% higher during early trading. — Pippa Stevens

Cramer says the market should focus on Dunkin' bid, not poor SAP results

CNBC's Jim Cramer shrugged off the steep slide in SAP shares after the software company's disappointing earnings report, saying he believes its quarterly results should not guide broader investor behavior.

"I thought that the market should have focused on Dunkin' Donuts, because here has been a red-hot stock, doing incredibly well, and then gets a bid anyway," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "If we just focus on Dunkin', what does it say about so many of our stocks that have actually been doing well?"

He also noted a positive analyst note on Calvin Klein-owner PVH, as well as an upgrade for the stock of Kontoor Brands, which owns the Wrangler brand. "The whole process of being casual at home, another positive thesis, so I'm seeing too much good, not enough bad, to let SAP color this morning," he said. - Kevin Stankiewicz 

Stocks decline as stimulus talks stall

Stocks dropped out of the gate on Monday as stimulus talks drag on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 303 points for a loss of 1%, while the S&P 500 shed 0.96%. The Nasdaq Composite opened 0.82% lower. A surge in Covid-19 cases across the country also weighed on sentiment. — Pippa Stevens

SAP plunges 20% as company sends a warning on Covid impact on business

As Covid-19 cases surge, a warning from Europe's biggest software company that businesses are holding back on spending added to the chill in markets Monday morning.

SAP cut its earnings and revenues forecast for 2020, noting that its customers are spending less, as virus cases surge in Europe. "Lockdowns have been reintroduced in some regions, recovery is uneven and companies are facing more business uncertainty," SAP said.

SAP also said it was shifting more of its efforts to cloud computing, a move that is expected to depress its margins. JPMorgan cut its rating on the company to neutral from overweight.

SAP shares were down 20% Monday, wiping about $30 billion off its valuation in its worst trading day in 12 years. — Patti Domm

Here are Monday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Apple, Palantir, Winnebago, Lululemon & more

  • Evercore ISI added Apple to the tactical outperform list.
  • JPMorgan initiated Zscaler as overweight.
  • Bank of America upgraded Kontoor Brands to buy from neutral.
  • Raymond James upgraded D.R. Horton and Toll Brothers to outperform from market perform.
  • Atlantic Equities reinstated Apple as overweight.
  • JPMorgan added Lululemon to the focus list.
  • Morgan Stanley initiated Palantir as overweight.
  • Citi upgraded Winnebago to buy from neutral.

Pro subscribers can read more here. - Michael Bloom

Covid cases spike over the weekend

Coronavirus cases are spiking in the U.S. and abroad, raising concerns about the pandemic into the winter months. The U.S. reported 83,757 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, passing the last record of roughly 77,300 cases seen in mid-July, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On Saturday, the U.S. reported another 83,718 new coronavirus cases.

The U.S. on Sunday set a new daily record of 68,767 cases on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. 

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the U.S. is not going to control the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday. "We're not going to control the pandemic," Meadows told CNN. "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations."

Cases are also spiking around the world, with Italy, France and Spain seeing outbreaks worsen. Spain ordered a nationwide curfew on Sunday and Italy tightened restrictions over the weekend.

Global cases are over 43 million and U.S. cases are more than 8.6 million. — Maggie Fitzgerald

AstraZeneca says its coronavirus vaccine produces immune response

Shares of AstraZeneca rose 0.8% in the premarket after the company said its coronavirus vaccine candidate triggered an immune response among adults.

"It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher," an AstraZeneca spokesman told CNBC via email. "The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222." —Fred Imbert, Sam Meredith

Ant Group on track for largest IPO on record

China-based Ant Group will raise $34.5 billion in its dual initial public offering, making it the biggest listing of all time. The financial technology giant said it will split its stock issuance across Shanghai and Hong Kong, issuing 1.67 billion shares in each location. Based on where the company priced the new shares, Ant Group's valuation stands at $313.37 billion.

The prior largest IPO on record was Saudi Aramco, which raised just over $29 billion in its IPO. — Arjun Kharpal, Pippa Stevens

Dunkin jumps after announcing potential merger

Shares of Dunkin' Brands surged 17% in premarket trading after the company said in a statement that it is exploring a deal with Inspire Brands that would take the Dunkin' Donuts parent private. Dunkin' has already reclaimed its pre-pandemic highs. — Jesse Pound

Stimulus hopes dwindle

With the election less than two weeks away, hopes are dwindling that an agreement on additional stimulus measures will be reached by Nov. 3. Over the weekend White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused each other of moving the goalposts on stimulus talks in separate interviews with CNN. — Pippa Stevens

Dow futures drop more than 200 points

U.S. stock futures came under pressure during early trading on Monday as Covid-19 cases across the country surge. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 264 points, indicating a more than 300-point drop at the opening bell. S&P 500 futures shed 0.88%, while Nasdaq 100 futures declined 0.7%.

The U.S. reported more than 83,000 new Covid-19 cases on both Friday and Saturday, topping the previous high of 77,300 new cases in July, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Amid the spike, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in a CNN interview that "We're not going to control the pandemic. ... We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations."

The major averages are coming off a week of losses. The Dow and S&P each snapped a three-week winning streak, while the Nasdaq posted its first down week in five. — Pippa Stevens