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US stocks finish lower over omicron concerns

The broader markets fell on Monday due to spikes in Omicron cases both in Europe and in the US. Investors interpret the rapid spreading of omicron as a negative impact on economic reopening, which means further restrictions and economic lockdowns.

US president Joe Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending package, the "Build Back Better Plan", also looms, after conservative Democrat senator Joe Machin's verbal rejection on Monday. 

The three US major averages extended losses for the third trading day, following the sell-off end of last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.23%,  the S&P 500 declined 1.14%, and Nasdaq slipped 1.24%.

Nine out of the 11 sectors fell in the S&P 500. Financials and material stocks slumped 1.9% and 1.83% respectively, leading the broader markets losses as the two sectors are being seen as sensitive to economic reopening. JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs all fell more than 2%. Caterpillar was down 2.72%. US banks are pressured by the low bond yields and the flattened yields curve as investors doubt the long-term economic recovery. 

The technology sector also fell as the big tech giants all finished lower. Meta Platforms (Facebook) was down 2.48%, Amazon declined 1.69%, Microsoft fell 1.09%, Apple lost 0.57%, and Alphabet edged lower by 0.06%. By contrast. utility and consumer staples outperformed the S&P 500 as these are considered defensive stocks when the economy is facing headwinds. 

The 10-year US treasury yield was at 1.42%, gold futures were down $15 to $1,789.9 per ounce, and the WTI futures price fell 3.1%, to $68.66.


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