Dow futures drop 300 points as China property fears grow

U.S. stock futures fell sharply on Monday, with those for the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling 300 points, as Hong Kong-listed property companies came under fresh pressure.

Investors also were positioning ahead of this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

How are stock futures trading?
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, -1.26% dropped nearly 400 points, or 1.1%, to 34,064
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.99% fell 40 points, or 0.9%, to 4,382
  • Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.81% dropped 107 points, or 0.7%, to 15,217

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.48% fell 166 points, or 0.48%, to 34585, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.91% declined 41 points, or 0.91%, to 4433, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.91% dropped 138 points, or 0.91%, to 15044.

For the week, the Dow saw its third straight weekly decline, losing 0.1% and booking its longest weekly losing streak since the four weeks ending Sept. 25, 2020, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% in a second straight week of losses, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5%, also booking two straight weekly falls, according to FactSet.

What’s driving the market?

China’s property market suffered heavy losses Monday, with shares of China Evergrande 3333, -12.60% falling 13% in Hong Kong.

The 8.25% Evergrande bond that has interest payments due this week was trading at around 29 cents to the dollar on Monday, according to Reuters.

Markets were closed in mainland China for a holiday, but the Hang Seng HSI, -3.33% dropped over 3%.

That’s as Wall Street investors are poised to pick up where they left off last week — on a weaker footing.  

“The dip is due to a variety of causes, including fading earnings estimates, uncertainty related to shifting monetary policy, and instability in the world’s second largest economy as a result of escalating crackdowns,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note to clients.

Markets will be closely watching for any talk of tapering at the Fed’s two-day policy meeting that begins Sept. 21. The central bank’s ultra-easy policy stance, put in place more than a year ago to help the economy cope with the pandemic, looks untenable to some given spikes in inflation.

The economy has been giving off mixed signals, though, amid rising cases of coronavirus due to the delta variant. Friday’s losses for Wall Street came as a reading on consumer sentiment held close to a roughly 10-year low.