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Stocks sold off sharply after opening higher on the first day of trading in 2021, despite the prospects for continued fiscal stimulus and coronavirus vaccine rollouts aiding investor optimism.

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Instead, investors focused on the tight race in Georgia that will determine who controls the Senate. Additionally, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced even tougher lockdowns in the region.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 30223.89 -382.59 -1.25%
SP500 S&P 500 3700.65 -55.42 -1.48%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 12698.447144 -189.84 -1.47%

All three of the major U.S. averages saw declines of over 1% with the Dow Jones Industrial dropping over 382 points but managing to come back from a deficit of over 600 points. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.47% each.

Despite the drop, Tesla shares continued their record run after the Elon Musk-led company said it delivered almost 500,000 cars in 2020, falling just shy of Musk’s previously stated goal. Shares closed 3.4% higher.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TSLA TESLA INC. 729.77 +24.10 +3.42%

In other tech news, a small group of Google employees has voted to unionize. While the group is considered more symbolic it could potentially spark a trend among other tech giants, say industry watchers.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 1,726.13 -26.51 -1.51%

Slack, which Salesforce announced its intention to acquire toward the end of 2020, fell as the communications platform experienced a service outage on Monday, impacting millions of its users.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WORK SLACK TECHNOLOGIES INC. 41.99 -0.25 -0.59%
CRM SALESFORCE.COM 220.31 -2.22 -1.00%

The company’s official Twitter account noted that there were issues with connecting and channels loading. The service outage started just shortly after 10 a.m. EST. but has since returned to operating normally.

There were scattered reports of other interruptions, including Microsoft’s Teams and Zoom, per Downdetector, as well as H&R Block.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 217.69 -4.73 -2.13%
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS INC. 359.98 +22.66 +6.72%
HRB H&R BLOCK 15.66 -0.20 -1.26%

INVESTORS BULLISH ON STOCKS, HOPING FOR A BRIGHTER 202

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HLF HERBALIFE LTD 49.89 +1.84 +3.83%

Shares of Herbalife were active on Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Carl Icahn has sold more than half of his stake in the company while also relinquishing seats on its board of directors.

China’s biggest telecom companies, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, are under pressure after the New York Stock Exchange said it would delist the three, citing an executive order.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CHL CHINA MOBILE LTD. 26.86 -1.68 -5.89%
CHA CHINA TELECOM 26.04 -1.51 -5.48%
CHU CHINA UNICOM LTD. 5.50 -0.18 -3.17%

In other China news, there are reports China’s richest man, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, has not been seen in recent days. Still, FOX Business has learned he is keeping a low profile despite ongoing tensions between his businesses and the Chinese government.

WHERE’S ALIBABA’S JACK MA?

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BABA ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD 227.87 -4.77 -2.05%

ECONOMIC NUMBERS

Spending on construction projects in the U.S. rose 0.9% in November, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected a gain of 1%. Construction spending in October was revised higher to 1.6%.

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In other asset classes, bitcoin fell nearly 10% to the $31,000 level after rallying in the final days of 2020 and the first couple of days of 2021, surpassing the $34,000 level.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose nearly 1.85% to $47.62 per barrel, while gold jumped higher, gaining more than 2.7% to $1,944.70 an ounce.

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