US stock slip as traders closely watch Evergrande drama and debt ceiling talks

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New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 19, 2021.

US stocks slipped on Monday as investors closely eyed new developments in the the Evergrande saga, with trading of the property developer’s stock suspended in Hong Kong. and looked for signs that Congress could avert the looming debt ceiling crisis later this month.

The benchmark S&P 500 fell after posting its biggest weekly loss since February. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also slid lower, after spiking nearly 500 points on Friday.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m.ET open on Monday:

Trading in shares of embattled Evergrande and its property management unit were suspended Monday pending an announcement about a “major transaction.” The trading halt came as another debt payment loomed, with no sign that the world’s most indebted company had met two obligations to foreign investors last week.

This came as Chinese local media reported Monday that Evergrande is set to sell a 51% stake in its property management unit to Hopson Development for $5.1 billion.

In the US, Republicans continued to block attempts by Democrats to renew the country’s ability to pay its bills. Congress has just 16 days to raise or suspend the debt ceiling to dodge what could be a potentially catastrophic hit to the economy.

A default would erode trust in the dollar would fade and cause interest rates would soar, which would lift mortgage, car loan, and credit card costs. S&P said it would cut its rating to the worst-possible rank of D.

“Investors should brace for more stock market volatility throughout October, which is also a seasonally turbulent time for stocks, as worries about inflation, supply chain issues, China and Fed policy are still with us,” Pestrichelli said in a Monday note.

“The next hurdle for the stock market is Friday’s jobs report, which has implications for the inflation story and the trajectory of Federal Reserve policy,” he added.

Shares of Tesla jumped almost 3% premarket after the EV maker smashed analyst estimates with its third-quarter deliveries, despite the chip shortage plaguing the auto industry.

In cryptocurrencies, Compound, one of the biggest decentralized finance platforms in the world, saw $160 million worth of cryptocurrency at risk after a routine network upgrade went wrong.

Bitcoin is trading flat, down 0.63%, to $47,826.

Oil prices wavered, but were slightly higher ahead of the OPEC+ meeting later today, which could determine whether production targets will be adjusted to calm tremors in the global energy market. Members of the committee will likely discuss whether to lift targets gradually or open the taps at a faster rate to bring down prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil jumped 0.21%, to $76.04 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.34%, to $79.55 per barrel.

Bank of America said last week that Brent crude could hit $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014.

Gold slipped 0.33%, to $1,757.43 per ounce.