U.S. Stocks Close Sharply Lower As Evergrande’s Woes Hurt Sentiment

U.S. stocks plunged sharply on Monday, and the major averages all suffered their worst setbacks in several weeks, as worries about potential collapse of China’s real estate firm Evergrande dented sentiment.

The Dow, which plunged to 33,613.03, ended the session with a loss of 614.41 points or 1.78 percent at 33,970.47. The S&P 500 closed lower by 75.26 points or 1.7 percent at 4,357.73, off the day’s low of 4,305.91, while the Nasdaq settled at 14,713.80, recording a loss of 330.06 points or 2.19 percent.

Traders also looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The central bank is widely expected to leave monetary policy unchanged but could address the outlook for its asset purchase program.

The minutes of the Fed’s last meeting signaled the central bank was prepared to begin scaling back asset purchases by the end of the year.

With some recent disappointing economic data suggesting the Fed could push back its plans, traders are likely to pay close attention to the wording of the post-meeting statement.

China’s property giant Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer with more than 300 billion dollars of liabilities, has to pay interests on its bonds with a payment deadline due on Thursday. The company has warned more than once that it could default.

Shares from metal, energy, financial, semiconductor and housing sectors were under pressure. Technology stocks dropped as well.

Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Alphpabet, Intel, and Amazon all ended sharply lower.

United Health, Goldman Sachs, American Express, Chevron, JP Morgan Chase, Caterpillar, Boeing, IBM and Cisco Systems also ended with sharp losses.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region ended mostly lower, although several major markets were closed for holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 3.3 percent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index tumbled by 2.1 percent.

The major European markets tumbled as well. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slumped 0.86 percent, Germany’s DAX plunged 2.31 percent and France’s CAC 40 drifted down 1.74 percent. The pan European Stoxx 600 shed 1.67 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved higher following the sharp pullback seen over the three previous sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dropped down to 1.313 percent, posting the biggest daily drop since August.

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