Stock market today: Dow ends in red as fresh Covid lockdown fears in China bite

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Stock market today: Dow ends in red as fresh Covid lockdown fears in China bite
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The Dow closed slightly lower Monday, led by weakness in energy and consumer stocks amid reports that Beijing returned to economically-sapping Covid restrictions. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, or 45 points, the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, the the Nasdaq fell 1%.

Energy stocks fell more than 1% as Covid-19 lockdowns returned to Beijing after the city reported its first coronavirus deaths in months, renewing worries about energy demand from the world’s top energy importer. Oil prices revived the bulk their losses after Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman denied reports that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, is weighing up a production boost of up to 500,000 barrels per day at an upcoming meeting on Dec. 4

Diamondback Energy Inc (NASDAQ: FANG ), Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL ), and Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO ) were the biggest decliners.  

As well as energy the ongoing pushback from Federal Reserve members against market expectations for a sooner rather than later pivot on monetary policy tightening continued to keep concerns about a Fed-induced recession front and center.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said she believes it would be "very appropriate," for the Fed to slow down from the string of 75 basis point hikes at the next meeting, but insisted that the Fed wasn't anywhere near to stopping rate hikes.

Over the weekend, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic backed further rate hikes, though said he would consider slowing the pace of hikes from the 75 basis points increases delivered in four consecutive Fed meetings.

About 85% of the traders expect the Fed to hike by 50 basis points in December, compared with the prior week estimate of about 80%, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

A deeper insight into the Fed’s thinking on monetary policy is expected in the coming days as the central bank releases Wednesday the minutes from its October meeting.

“FOMC minutes could signal that slower rate hikes [don’t] necessarily mean a lower peak,” Nomura said in a recent note.

China-exposed stocks including Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) fell nearly 7%, while Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS ), MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM ), and Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR ) led the slump in consumer stocks.

Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ), up 6%, bucked the broader-market malaise after reappointing Bob Iger as its chief executive to replace Bob Chapek.

In other news, DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ: DKNG ) tumbled more than 5% after the sports betting company said it was investigating reports of users' accounts being hacked.

The move reportedly materialized following internal complaints from senior leadership about Bob Chapek’s leadership and fourth-quarter earnings that fell well short of estimates, CNBC reported.

The broader-market stumble comes during a holiday shortened week, with trading volumes likely “to thin out as we approach Thursday,” Janney Montgomery Scott said. "[T]he S&P 500 still shows the early formation of a minor uptrend line off the October lows."

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