Coal in stocking: Markets on track for worst December since Great Depression

Markets Right Now Another steep drop pulls Dow down 500

Markets Right Now Another steep drop pulls Dow down 500

The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 156.93 points, or 2.27 percent, to 6,753.73, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. The drops come as investors worry about continuing trade tensions, a court ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, the potential partial government shutdown, the unresolved Brexit issue, and a rising backlash against big tech companies.

Hospital operators and insurers that would stand to lose if the law is weakened or overturned took some of the biggest losses early Monday. U.S. president Donald Trump put pressure on the Fed on Monday, arguing it would be madness to raise interest rates.

Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, made a bit of a recovery, with bitcoin up more than 8% to about $3,539.33 and Ethereum up more than 10% to $95.09 in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data. That and the stock market crush are hurting shaking confidence in global growth and future demand for oil. The Russell 2000, which tracks smaller companies' performance, entered a bear market, down 20 percent from its 52-week high, and the Cboe Volatility Index hit its highest level in a week. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index indicated homebuilder sentiment had fallen to a three-and-a-half-year low.

The S&P 500 index inched up 0.22 points to 2,546.16.

More stocks fell than rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Investors are hoping the Fed will say the increases are going to slow down in 2019 in light of recent signs that economic growth is slowing. It is widely expected that the central bank on Wednesday will raise its fed funds rate for the fourth time this year, and ninth time since the financial crisis, to a range between 2.25% and 2.5%.

Virgin Galactic's new flight test to soar closer to edge of space
When it's fully up and running, VSS Unity will carry passengers on brief trips to suborbital space , for $250,000 per ticket. The rocket ship hit an altitude of 82 kilometres before beginning its gliding descent, mission official Enrico Palermo said.

The Dow is down 424.87 points, or 1.8 percent.

"An indication from the Fed that they will slow their pace of hikes could calm these jittery markets", he said. Higher rates can slow economic growth, and that's something investors have been worrying about as China and Europe have suggested growth is slowing, and the USA economy is also expected to cool off in 2019.

The S&P 500 Index ended virtually unchanged as investors braced for Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy decision. -China trade talks, a major focus for markets, since the beginning of this month.

The price of oil continued to slide, a day after closing below $50 a barrel for the first time in over a year. West Texas Intermediate crude is down more than 3.5%, trading at $48.41 a barrel, while Brent crude is down a similar margin, trading at $57.55.

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