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  • Dow Jones Industrial Average DJI fell 271.73 points, or 0.91%.
  • The S&P 500 SPX lost 16.72 points, or 0.46%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite IXIC dropped 7.11 points, or 0.06%.

The benchmarks on Wall Street fell on Monday with investors booking profits after a strong rally for the month that led to the benchmark’s best November ever.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 271.73 points, or 0.91%, to 29,638.64, the S&P 500 fell16.72 points, or 0.46%, to 3,621.63 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 7.11 points, or 0.06%, to 12,198.74.

Nine out of 11 of the major S&P 500 sectors dropped, with the energy index falling 5.4% and leading losses, tracking a drop in crude prices. 

In covid news, US Health Secretary Alex Azar on Monday said the first two vaccines against the novel coronavirus could be available to Americans before Christmas.

Moderna MRNA soared 17% after it unveiled plans to apply for US and Europeanemergency authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, markets will turn their attention to the Federal Reserve for the month of December and will be concerned for the coronavirus aid package from the government. 

In after-hours trade, we had both Fed’s governor Jerome Powell and the US Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin crossing with key information:

  • US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: I strongly encourage Congress to use the $455 billion in unused funds from the CARES Act

  • Fed’s Powell: Economic activity has continued to recover but pace of improvement has moderated

”With a Q4 growth wobble in the US looking likely, policymakers are now turning their focus towards preventing this from continuing into 2021,” analysts at ANZ Bank explained. 

Key points

”Failure to extend emergency fiscal stimulus presents further downside economic risks in Q1 as welfare payments and the moratoria on repayments end.”

”In order to break the deadlock on Capitol Hill, a bipartisan group of eight senators has formed a working group to try and pass legislation before Biden takes office.”

”This is aimed at extending modest fiscal support by tying it to the FY21 funding bill which must pass by 11 December. But whether this will gain traction is an open question.”

”Meanwhile, Joe Biden officially announced Janet Yellen (former Federal Reserve Chair) as his pick for Treasury Secretary.”

”Yellen is expected to advocate for “extraordinary fiscal support”, suggesting further stimulus is just a matter of time. The key question is whether significant economic damage can be avoided before the reins of power are handed over.”