By DAMIAN J. TROISE
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell sharply in morning trading Monday as Wall Street comes off its worst week since winter. The price of oil hit a seven-year high as OPEC stuck with a plan for cautious production increases even as demand for crude increases.
The S&P 500 fell 1.4% as of 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 383 points, or 1.1%, to 33,941.
Losses in technology stocks pushed the Nasdaq lower by 2.3%. Apple fell 2.3% and Microsoft fell 2.5%. Big communication companies also slipped. Facebook fell 4.2%.
Bond yields jumped around. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.50% before slipping back to 1.48%. The rising bond yields have contributed to the recent weakness in technology stocks. A swift rise in interest rates has forced a reassessment of whether stocks have grown too expensive, particularly already high-priced technology companies.
U.S. crude oil prices rose 2.6% and topped $77 per barrel for the first time since 2014. OPEC and allied oil producing countries on Monday decided to stay with their cautious approach to restoring oil production slashed during the pandemic, agreeing to add 400,000 barrels per day in November.
Natural gas prices jumped 7.1%. Energy companies rose along with energy prices. Devon Energy rose 3.9%.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s benchmark fell more than 2% after troubled property developer China Evergrande’s shares were suspended from trading. Markets were closed for holidays in Shanghai and South Korea. Shares in most European markets edged higher.
Tesla rose 2.1% after the electric vehicle maker reported surprisingly good third-quarter deliveries.
Investors are preparing for the latest round of corporate earnings, which will ramp up in the next several weeks. They are also still closely monitoring economic data for more signals about the pace of the recovery as businesses and consumers continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and the highly contagious delta variant.
Wall Street will get more information on the economy’s health this week. On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management will release its service sector index for September. The services sector is the largest part of the economy and its health is a key factor for growth.
On Friday, the Labor Department will release its employment report for September. The employment market has been struggling to fully recover from the damage done by COVID-19 more than a year ago.
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