Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 600+ points Monday after the blue-chip index fell 6.9% last week, its worst week since 2008. 
  • The U.S. stock market closed Monday at 1 p.m. ET, will be closed for Christmas Day, and will reopen with a full day of trading on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
  • Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report)  was down 3.1% after the electric carmaker said it would cut prices of certain model 3 prices in China by up to 7.6%.

Wall Street Overview 

Stocks fell heavily in a holiday-shortened session Monday, Dec. 24, as investors continued to express concern over the fate of the global economy and the ongoing turmoil in the White House.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 653 points, or 2.9%, to 21,792, the S&P 500 declined 2.7%, and the Nasdaq was down 2.2%. The Dow set a new 52-week intraday low with Monday's move. 

Investor concerns were amplified late Sunday with an ununusual statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said he would chair a meeting Monday of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, after speaking with the CEOs of the country's six biggest banks over the weekend to ensure there was ample liquidity in the financial system.

"We continue to see strong economic growth in the U.S. economy, with robust activity from consumers and business markets," Mnuchin said in a statement. He added, "With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS and other critical functions within the department."

Munchin said he spoke with the CEOs of Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Get Report) , Citigroup Inc. (C - Get Report) , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS - Get Report) , JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Get Report) , Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC - Get Report) . From those conversations, Mnuchin said, the CEOs "have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly."

Mnuchin's statements added to Wall Street concerns following one of the worst weeks on Wall Street in more than a decade. For the week, the Dow tumbled 6.9%, the S&P 500 dropped 7.1%, and the Nasdaq slumped 8.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, off 22% from its all-time high, entered bear market territory.

Comments from Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to Fox News Sunday that suggested it's "very possible (the current government shutdown) will go beyond (December) 28th and into the new Congress" also were seen as adding to the broader market caution.

The U.S. stock market closed Monday at 1 p.m. ET. It will be closed for Christmas Day, and will reopen with a full day of trading on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Mulvaney also said Sunday that Donald Trump "now realizes he does not have the ability" to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Trump had reportedly contemplated attempting to fire Powell in the wake of last week's interest rate hike. 

Mulvaney, who now serves as White House Office of Management and Budget director, said during an interview on ABC News' "This Week" that after speaking with Mnuchin he was assured Trump wouldn't try to fire Powell.

"It's not at all unusual for a president to complain about the actions of the Federal Reserve chairman," said Mulvaney, adding that the "tension" between the two was traditional.

Mnuchin said on Twitter that while Trump "totally" disagrees with the Fed's policy and that he thinks raising interest rates is a "terrible thing to do at this time," Trump said he "never suggested firing Chairman Jay Powell, nor do I believe I have the right to do so."

Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report)  fell 7.6% after it said it would cut prices of certain Model 3 cars in China by up to 7.6%.

Meanwhile, CEO Elon Musk said the electric carmaker will reimburse customers if delays to car deliveries cause them to miss out on a $7,500 tax credit, Reuters reported.

Mindbody Inc. (MB) jumped 65% to $35.83 on Monday after reaching a deal to be acquired by private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners in a deal valued at $1.9 billion.

Vista Equity will pay $36.50 in cash for each Mindbody share - a 68% premium to Mindbody's closing price Friday of $21.72.

Energy markets faced pressure Monday after banks significantly lowered their forecasts for oil prices in 2019 in a survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal. Benchmark Brent crude prices are expected to average $69 per barrel, down from previous estimates of $77 per barrel. Meanwhile West Texas crude is expected to average just over $63 per barrel, down from previous estimate of $70 per barrel. 

Brent crude prices are down 62 cents to $53.20 per barrel while West Texas crude was down 98 cents to $44.61 per barrel. 

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