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Lawmakers are examining whether wild swings GameStop’s stock price of has exposed conflicts in the market’s structure that can hurt unsophisticated investors. Rep. Maxine Waters says “many Americans feel that the system is stacked against them.” (Feb. 18) AP Domestic

Stocks fell in late morning trading on Monday, adding to the declines that started last week as investors continue to be concerned about rising interest rates and the potential for inflation down the road.

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% as of 11:38 a.m. ET, pulled down by technology and health care companies which have done well over the past year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.3 points, or less than 0.1%, to 31,493 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq was down 1.6%.

Investors remain focused on the future of global economies badly hit by COVID-19 and the potential for more stimulus to fix them. The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote on Biden’s proposed stimulus package by the end of the week. It would include $1,400 checks to most Americans, additional payments for children, and billions of dollars in aid to state and local governments as well as additional aid to businesses impacted by the pandemic.

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Stimulus impact on financial markets

But the large amount of stimulus being pumped into the economy has given some investors pause as worries of inflation have reentered the market after being nonexistent for more than a decade. Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds and notes have risen in the last several weeks as investors have predicted more inflation would come with the economic recovery.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury held steady at 1.34% and has been rising steadily throughout the year. The higher yields have helped lift banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America rose 1.9%.

There was a lot of churn within different sectors just behind the broader market losses. The S&P 500 was just about evenly split between winners and losers.

Energy companies made solid gains as crude oil prices rose more than 3%. Exxon Mobil gained 3.6% and Chevron rose 3%.

United Airlines, Delta soar

Airlines, which have been battered by the virus pandemic, rose after Deutsche Bank upgraded its view on the sector and the potential for recovery as COVID-19 cases fall and vaccination rates increase. American Airlines jumped 10%, while both Delta and United Airlines rose more than 5%.

Global shares were mostly lower on Monday, with Japan’s benchmark rising but most others slipping despite hopes for a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with the global rollout of vaccines.

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