Stocks tumble as Covid-19 cases surge and stimulus is nowhere to be found

US stocks tumbled at Monday’s opening bell, as coronavirus, Washington intransigence and earnings are weighing on the market.

The election is only eight days away, there’s still no new stimulus package and the first look at how the economy fared in the third quarter will be reported on Thursday. Big Tech companies will report earnings this week as well, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

While earnings will inject volatility in the tech sector, “on a more macro level, ongoing US stalemate over US fiscal stimulus and the rapidly spreading Covid-19 is going to determine the direction for the wider markets,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Think Markets, in a note.

The ever-slimming chance of a new stimulus package before next week’s election isn’t a new factor for the market. And yet, it has been a big driver of the action over the past weeks, even as nothing has really changed as a result of recent negotiations. It shows just how important the recovery is for the market.

On top of that, Covid-19 infections are rising rapidly across Europe, where governments have brought back restrictions to stave off the spreading once again.

All of this is creating a cocktail of uncertainty that the market doesn’t like one bit, and Wall Street opened lower.

Half an hour into the trading day, the Dow fell 1.5%, or more than 400 points, while the S&P 500 — the broadest measure of the US stock market — fell 0.9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also opened lower but has since bounced back from the worst of it. The index was down 0.2% mid-morning.

European markets were also in the red across the board.