Crude Oil Has Moved Higher

U.S. Stocks Fall to Start the Week

Equity markets declined across the board, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq finishing lower.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market declined on Monday, as investors tracked another substantial rise in the price of oil amid signs of escalating inflation.

Wall Street’s major averages were lower at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 250.19 points, or 0.7%, 34,496.06.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks fell 0.7% to close at 4,361.19. Most sectors finished in negative territory.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) declined 0.6% to close at 14,486.20.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) declined on Monday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday high of 20.45 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle up 5.5% at 19.80.

In commodities, oil prices were higher on Monday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose $1.15, or 1.5%, to $80.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, gained $1.20, or 1.5%, to $80.50 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices edged slightly lower, as the December futures contract declined $2.70, or 0.2%, to $1,754.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures edged down 9 cents, or 0.4%, trade at $22.62 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: U.S. economic data continues to disappoint. On Friday, the Department of Labor reported that employers added just 194,000 workers to payrolls in September, which was well below the 500,000 economists had expected.