Investing.com – The Dow slipped Monday as a close race in the Georgia Senate runoff elections raised concerns over the prospect of a Democrat-controlled Congress that would likely usher in higher taxes at a time when the pandemic continues to worsen.
“Investors are beginning to weigh the prospect of higher taxes and massive government spending against the notion of further fiscal relief aid as the pandemic – and subsequent policy measures – continues to wreak havoc on the economy,” Stifel said in a note.
The political uncertainty comes as the new coronavirus variant continues to spread in the U.S., raising concerns that further lockdown measures will be needed to curb the contagion.
Patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in the U.S. hit a record high on Sunday, at 125,544, with experts warning the pandemic is likely to get worse.
Further progress on vaccine rollouts kept hopes alive the economy could reopen sooner rather than later, as AstraZeneca’s (NASDAQ:AZN) Covid-19 vaccine was distributed across the UK.
Real estate and industrials sectors were among the biggest decliners, with the latter paced by declines in airline stocks on worries further coronavirus restrictions will hurt travel demand.
Energy stocks were outperforming the overall market malaise, shrugging off falling oil prices even as reports suggested key oil-producing countries remain dividend on production caps.
OPEC+ is meeting on Monday to decide whether to lift output by 500,000 barrels per day, but Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Algeria are reportedly pushing to leave production unchanged.
Technology was not far behind, down more than 2% as investors eased bets on the high-flying Fab 5 stocks.
In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) gained more than 3% after delivering a record 499,550 vehicles in 2020, though that fell just short of chief executive Elon Musk’s 500,000 estimate. The company also deliveries of its Model Y vehicle from its Shanghai gigafactory would begin shortly.