U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds tried to recover from the early Monday sell-off as a more virulent mutation of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom renewed fears of the disruptive capabilities of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) dropped 0.2%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was up 0.1%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) fell 0.3%.
The markets retreated on uncertainty over the new strain of Covid-19, which is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the original and forced many countries to shut down borders with the United Kingdom, Reuters reports.
“The precautions required to assess the potential harm of the new COVID-19 strain will undoubtedly introduce additional risk to markets, which expected a smooth return to normal life following the vaccine’s rollout,” James McDonald, chief executive officer of Hercules Investments, told Reuters.
The renewed coronavirus concerns offset the positive developments from a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, which is expected to be voted in by Congress later at the day. The build up to the new stimulus bill has helped pushed Wall Street to record highs.
“Optimism coming into this week was very high, and the markets were in need of a breather. You’re going to see a bit of profit taking between now and the end of the year,” Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management, told Reuters.
However, some jumped back into the markets after the session lows on Monday, helping markets pare back some of the early morning losses.
“To me, it’s a buying opportunity,” Philip Blancato, president of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, told the Wall Street Journal, adding that his firm has been bolstering positions on progress in vaccinations. “You could have as many as 20 million Americans inoculated by the first week of January. As those numbers increase, it’s going to have a profound effect.”
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