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* Dow on track to achieve biggest monthly gain since 1987
* IHS Markit increases on $ 44 billion buyout deal with S&P Global
* Indices down: Dow 0.9%, S&P 0.5%, Nasdaq 0.2% (updates to open)
Nov. 30 (Reuters) – Major Wall Street indices fell on Monday as investors paused to take stock of a bumper month ahead of this week’s crucial economic reports.
Nine of the top 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were trading lower, with energy being the biggest decline early in the session. Oil majors, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, fell 1.8% to 2.5%, following lower crude prices.
IHS Markit topped the gains of the benchmark S&P 500 after data giant S&P Global agreed to buy the financial information provider in a $ 44 billion deal, which will be the most major business acquisition of 2020.
Analysts said the month-end portfolio rebalancing also played into Monday’s weakness, with investors enjoying gains after a strong month marked by progressing COVID-19 vaccine updates and hopes for a rapid economic rebound next year.
A rotation in sectors known to offer better returns coming out of a recession such as energy, industrials and financials propelled the S&P 500 to its best November in history. The Dow Jones is on track for its biggest monthly gain since 1987.
“Markets can, and have, examined the strain that the resurgence of the virus puts on the economy until a vaccine where the population can start to return to normal,” Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT said at Atlanta.
“The question is whether the forward-looking market mechanism is powerful enough to counteract what appears to be a relentless virus and the challenges it presents to the day-to-day operations of the economy.
At 10:13 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 291.37 points, or 0.93% to 29,619.00, and the S&P 500 lost 17.63 points, or 0.48% to 3,622.08 . The Nasdaq Composite lost 25.15 points, or 0.22% to 12,182.56 after hitting a record early in the session.
Technology and healthcare were the only two sectors to trade higher.
U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday that the first two vaccines against the novel coronavirus could be available to Americans before Christmas.
Moderna has unveiled plans to seek emergency clearance in the United States and Europe for its COVID-19 vaccine after full results from an advanced stage study showed it to be 94.1% effective, increasing its actions by 16%.
After an explosion in infections and trade restrictions this month undermined the recovery in the US labor market, the focus will be on the Fed’s monthly jobs report and beige book, as well as a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell before the Senate Banking Committee.
Macy’s Inc and Kohl’s Corp slipped about 4% each, as masked shoppers showed up in smaller numbers at major U.S. retailers on Black Friday as early online deals and concerns about a spike in cases of COVID-19 have dampened enthusiasm for shopping malls.
Falling issues outnumbered advanced issues by a 2 to 1 ratio on the NYSE and Nasdaq, a 0.6 to 1 ratio aided the declines.
The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 222 new highs and five new lows. (Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)