Dow futures plunge 800 points as Wall Street looks set to extend last week’s sharp losses

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands in lower Manhattan on the first day that traders are allowed back onto the historic floor of the exchange on May 26, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Stock futures fell in early morning trading on Monday, pointing to more losses ahead as investors grapple with signs of a second wave of coronavirus cases as the economy reopens.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 810 points, implying a drop of more than 882 points at the Monday open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to Monday opening declines for the two indexes.

The early morning action in futures markets followed a big pullback last week triggered by rising fears of a resurgence in the virus as well as investors’ profit-taking after the massive comeback. 

The Dow and S&P 500 lost 5.5% and 4.7% last week, respectively, while the Nasdaq shed 2.3%. All three major equity benchmarks suffered their worst week since March 20.

“The meltup may need to take a break, as sentiment has turned too bullish too rapidly,” Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, said in a note on Sunday. “Now that reopening is happening, there’s fear of suboptimal results: less social distancing triggering a second wave of the virus, followed by another round of lockdowns.”

States in the reopening process including Alabama, California, Florida and North Carolina are reporting a rise in daily new coronavirus cases. Texas and North Carolina reported a record number of virus-related hospitalizations Saturday.

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned New Yorkers against triggering a second wave of the coronavirus. He said on Sunday the state has received 25,000 complaints about businesses violating rules of the phased reopening, threatening to take liquor licenses from bars and restaurants.

“The COVID deterioration in certain states will stay an overhang for the market, although it would take a sustained increase in US numbers overall to spark a dramatic shift in the narrative,” Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli said in a note on Sunday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that shutting down the economy for a second time to slow Covid-19 isn’t a viable option as it will “create more damage.”

After last week’s sell-off, the S&P 500 is down 5.8% on the year, still more than 38% higher from its March low. The 30-stock Dow is down 10.2% year to date.

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