US stock indexes fall after best weekly gain since February

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Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Monday in a sluggish start to the week following the market’s best weekly gain since February

Stocks fell in morning trading on Wall Street Monday in a sluggish start to the week following the market’s best weekly gain since February.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% as of 10:20 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 222 points, or 0.6%, to 35,740 and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

A wide range of retailers that rely on direct consumer spending led the losses. Hanesbrands fell 4.7%.

Auto makers and travel-related companies also broadly fell. Ford fell 3.6% and Carnival shed 5.8%.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.44% from 1.49% late Friday. That weighed on banks, which rely on higher bond yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Capital One fell 2.5%.

Industrial and energy companies also moved lower.

Health care companies gained ground. Several big pharmaceutical companies were standouts, including COVID-19 vaccine makers. Pfizer rose 4.3% following news it is buying Arena Pharmaceuticals. Fellow vaccine maker Moderna rose 5.7%.

Harley-Davidson jumped 14.6% after saying it will take its electric motorcycle division public through a blank-check company, valuing the enterprise that has been part of the motorcycle maker for 10 years at $1.77 billion.

Investors will be monitoring several economic reports this week and the Federal Reserve to gain more insight into economic growth as 2021 comes to a close and the world continues to try and shake off the impact from COVID-19.

Wall Street will get an inflation update on Tuesday when the Labor Department releases its Producer Price Index for November, which shows how inflation is impacting costs for businesses. That report will be especially important with the Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Persistently rising inflation has prompted the central bank to hasten its plan to trim bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low. Investors will be listening for any statements that add detail to the timing of that plan and hints at how that might impact how soon benchmark interest rates are increased in 2022.

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