US stocks open lower on UK Covid spike despite stimulus

US stocks open lower on UK Covid-19 spike despite US stimulus

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6 per cent to 30,009.59

Representative Image. Credit: AFP Photo

Wall Street stocks opened lower Monday as worries over a new highly-infectious strain of Covid-19 in Britain offset optimism from agreement on a long-delayed US stimulus bill.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.6 per cent to 30,009.59.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.0 per cent to 3,673.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.8 per cent to 12,651.61.

Numerous countries slapped travel bans on Britain after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions Saturday, blaming the spread of a highly-infectious coronavirus variant.

Worries about the British outbreak blunted the boost from agreement on a $900 billion Covid-19 relief package after months of wrangling between Democrats and Republicans.

Several leading banks were higher after the Federal Reserve on Friday approved share repurchases with some limitations. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America both gained more than three per cent.

Dow member Nike was another early winner, surging 6.4 per cent after reporting much better-than-expected results Friday afternoon after the market close based on strong direct-to-consumer sales.

But Tesla dropped 5.4 per cent after its long-awaited addition to the prestigious S&P 500 index. Shares had rallied aggressively leading into the shift, which took effect Monday.