Stocks around the world sank Monday on worries that the Trump White House may not be able to help businesses as much as once thought. Many of the trends that have been in place since Election Day went into sharp reverse: The dollar’s value sank against other currencies, as did bank stocks, while prices jumped for Treasury bonds.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,329, as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 141, or 0.7 percent, to 20,445. The Nasdaq composite dropped 29, or 0.5 percent, to 5,799.
Small-company stocks, which have outpaced the rest of the market since the election, fell even more. The Russell 2000 index sank 14 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,340.
The stock market had been on a nearly nonstop rip higher since Election Day on the belief that President Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress will cut income taxes, loosen regulations for companies and institute other business-friendly policies. Besides stronger economic growth, investors were also predicting higher inflation would be on the way.
But last week’s failure by Republicans to fulfill a pledge they’ve been making for years, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raises doubts that Washington can push through other promises. The House on Friday pulled its bill to revamp the country’s health care system, when it was clear that it didn’t have enough votes to pass.
DOLLAR DUMP: The dollar fell against most of its major rivals, including the Japanese yen, euro and British pound. The ICE U.S. Dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency’s value against six others, has given up nearly all of its big gains since Election Day.
The dollar fell to 110.38 Japanese yen from 110.80 late Friday. The euro rose to $1.0883 from $1.0808, and the British pound rose to $1.2593 from $1.2500.
YIELDS DROP: The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.36 percent from 2.41 percent late Friday. That’s close to its lowest level in a month. It was above 2.60 percent just a couple weeks ago.
BANKS SINK: Bank stocks have tracked the movements of Treasury yields recently, because higher interest rates would allow them to charge more for loans and reap bigger profits. Financial stocks in the S&P 500 dropped 1.4 percent, the largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index.
AN ANXIOUS MARKET: The VIX index measures the market’s nervousness by looking at how much traders are paying to protect against upcoming drops in the S&P 500. By that measure, investors early Monday were feeling the most jittery since mid-November, shortly after Election Day. The VIX jumped 10 percent.
HEALTHY GAINS: Among the few gainers on the day were hospital stocks. The Republican health care plan would have resulted in 24 million additional uninsured people in a decade, according to a tally by the Congressional Budget Office. And hospitals take care of patients, whether they’re insured or not.
HCA Holdings jumped $4.05, or 4.7 percent, to $90.09 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Universal Health Services rose $5.14, or 4.2 percent, to $127.03 for the second-largest gain.
GOLD GLITTERS: The price of gold rose $7.20 to $1,255.70. Silver rose 31 cents to $18.06 per ounce. Copper, whose price tends to rise and fall with expectations for economic growth, fell 6 cents to $2.58 per pound.
MARKETS ABROAD: Stocks were weak around the world. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.4 percent, South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.6 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.7 percent. In Europe, the German DAX lost 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent and the FTSE 100 in London dropped 0.9 percent.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 70 cents to $47.27 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 63 cents to $50.29.