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U.S. stock futures were relatively steady Tuesday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 saw sharp declines in their first negative start to a year since 2016. Concerns about Tuesday's two Senate runoff elections in Georgia and global coronavirus cases threw a blanket over Wall Street's recent optimism, which led to Dow and S&P 500 record highs early in Monday's session before the sell-off took hold. The Dow and S&P 500 dropped 1.3% and 1.5%, respectively, in their biggest one-day drops since Oct. 28.
The outcome of Georgia's two runoff elections Tuesday will determine whether Republicans retain control of the Senate. To capture the majority for their party, both Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, must beat GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Such a result would be a 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote for Democrats.
President Donald Trump declared he would "fight like hell" to hold on to power and appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden when they convene Wednesday to confirm the Electoral College vote. Trump, at a rally Monday night in Georgia for Perdue and Loeffler, spent much of his speech complaining bitterly about his own election loss, which he falsely and repeatedly claims he won.
Trump supporters are planning to protest this week's Electoral College vote certification with demonstrations Tuesday night and Wednesday in the nation's capital. The National Guard has been mobilized to keep the peace in Washington. Trump has encouraged the protesters, tweeting Sunday he will be there.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England is adopting a national lockdown that he hopes will be tough enough to contain a new, highly contagious variant of Covid-19. People can leave their homes only to shop for essentials, for work if they can't from home, for exercise, for going to the doctor's and for escaping domestic abuse, Johnson said in Monday evening's announcement. Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges are moving to remote learning on Tuesday.
The New York Stock Exchange said it no longer plans to delist three Chinese telecom giants, reversing a decision announced four days earlier. The NYSE said late Monday it dropped the plans after "further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control." Hong Kong-listed shares of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom rallied after news of the reversal. On Thursday, the NYSE said it would move to delist American depositary shares of the companies, in compliance with a Trump executive order.
— The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real time with CNBC Pro's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.