U.S. Stocks Start Week With Declines
By Anna Hirtenstein
U.S. stocks edged down Monday, backing away from the records
they notched at the end of last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135 points, or 0.4%,
shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 lost 0.2% and the
Nasdaq Composite declined 0.2%.
Investors started the week on a somewhat cautious note. A string
of blue-chip companies are scheduled to report earnings this week
and will offer a view on businesses' expectations for the pace of
economic revival. Money managers are looking to gauge whether
stocks' high valuations are justified after the Dow and S&P 500
hit closing records last week.
"After a big move, you get a pause of breath and a bit of a
reassessment, " said Caroline Simmons, U.K. chief investment
officer at UBS Asset Management. "People are reassessing, waiting
for newsflow that might indicate that growth and inflation remain
U.S. health authorities decided to recommend pausing the use of
the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to concerns about improper
treatment of blood clots, The Wall Street Journal reported over the
weekend. Health officials are now looking at limiting the J&J
vaccine to older people, among other options, and could make public
a decision as early as this week.
On the earnings front, International Business Machines is
expected to report after the close. Other giant companies including
Procter & Gamble are scheduled to post results later in the
"I expect the earnings picture is going to remain very buoyant
across the picture and for the momentum to stay very positive,"
said Fahad Kamal, chief investment officer of Kleinwort Hambros.
"As long as earnings meet what are very heightened expectations,
the rally can keep going."
Peloton fell 6.1% after a federal safety agency said over the
weekend that people with young children or pets shouldn't use the
connected-fitness company's treadmills.
Tesla declined 2.2% after two men died in a Tesla vehicle that
crashed into a tree Saturday.
GameStop rose 8.6% after it announced its CEO would step
In currency markets, the Russian ruble weakened 0.6% against the
dollar. U.S. officials warned there would be consequences if
opposition politician Alexei Navalny dies in prison. Calls for mass
protests in cities across Russia also mounted. The ruble has lost
nearly 3% of its value this year.
Bitcoin edged up over 4% to about $57,000, regaining some ground
after plunging almost 12% over the weekend, according to data from
CoinDesk. Turkey's central bank said Friday it would ban the use of
cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
"The [cryptocurrency market] is really on edge right now," said
Joel Kruger, a currency strategist at LMAX. "There were concerns
over the weekend after Turkey came out with the news of major
regulatory restrictions coming into force."
Some traders were speculating that the U.S. Treasury could make
a similar decision, he said.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 edged up 0.1%, on
track to notch a record closing high for the third consecutive
In Asia, most major benchmarks ticked up. The Shanghai Composite
Index climbed 1.5% for its best day in over three weeks. Hong
Kong's Hang Seng added 0.5%. However, India's benchmark stock index
fell 1.8% as Covid-19 cases continued to climb.
Akane Otani contributed to this article
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 19, 2021 10:06 ET (14:06 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.