U.S. Stocks May Come Under Pressure On Renewed Covid Worries

Stocks are likely to come under pressure in early trading on Monday, extending the pullback seen over the course of the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a sharply lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 506 points.

Concerns about a resurgence of the coronavirus are likely to weigh on Wall Street, as the delta variant contributes to a spike in infections in the U.S.

According to data from the CDC, the 7-day average of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has jumped to nearly 30,000 after falling as low as 11,455 a month ago.

The renewed virus concerns have led to significant pre-market weakness among companies hit hardest by the pandemic such as cruise operators and airlines.

Energy stocks are also moving sharply lower in pre-market trading, as the price of crude oil plunges following news OPEC and its allies have agreed to steadily end production cuts by September 2022.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Home Builders is scheduled to release its report on homebuilder confidence in the month of July. The housing market index is expected to inch up to 82 in July from 81 in June.

Stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Friday after failing to sustain an early move to the upside. The major averages pulled back well off their initial highs and slid firmly into negative territory.

The major averages ended the session just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow slumped 299.17 points or 0.9 percent to 34,687.85, the Nasdaq slid 115.90 points or 0.8 percent to 14,427.24 and the S&P 500 fell 32.87 points or 0.8 percent to 4,327.16.

For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled by 1.9 percent, the S&P 500 slumped by 1 percent and the Dow decreased by 0.5 percent.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 1.8 percent.

The major European markets have also shown significant moves to the downside. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has plummeted by 2.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 2.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are tumbling $2.64 to $69.17 barrel after inching up $0.16 to $71.81 a barrel last Friday. Meanwhile, after sliding $14 to $1,815 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slumping $19.40 to $1,795.60 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.49 yen versus the 110.07 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Friday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1773 compared to last Friday’s $1.806.

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