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Wall Street extends global slump on China fears

09/20/2021 | 05:50pm EDT

September is living up to its reputation as being the worst month for the stock market all year.

On Monday U.S. stocks sank in the biggest sell-off in months as investors worried that trouble in China could result in a further slowdown in global economic growth.

The Dow tumbled 614 points. The S&P 500 dropped 75. The Nasdaq fell 330 points.

It's the potential default of Evergrande, China's second biggest property developer, which reverberated throughout global markets. The fear is that if Evergrande doesn't pay its debts - lenders will go into protective mode and turn off the lending spigot, which would curtail corporate spending and thus slow down the economy.

Tesla, which has big exposure to the Chinese market, was down nearly 4 percent. Heavy-duty equipment maker Caterpillar, lost about 4-1/2 percent

But that wasn't the only thing behind the sell-off, says Andy Kapyrin, co-head of investments at Regent Atlantic Capital.

"This is a very risky week. Here's why it's risky: The Federal Reserve is going to meet later this week and likely announce a taper of its big financial stimulus programs. This is a high risk environment because what we're experiencing around the world, not just in China, but in parts of the US too, is a slowdown in economic activity. The economy still growing, just not at the same pace as it was six months ago. All this happening at once is making investors a little bit skittish."

Bitcoin turned out not to be a place to hide. The value of the cryptocurrency tumbled more than the stock market. The price of bitcoin fell almost 6-1/2 percent to around $44,000.

There was one group, which rallied despite the market's overall funk. The Biden Administration announced plans to ease the travel ban for international travelers who are fully vaccinated. American Airlines was the best performing airline, gaining 3 percent.

© Reuters 2021
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