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Dow futures slide more than 500 points as market worries mount

U.S. stock-index futures fell Sunday night, following a losing week on Wall Street amid worries about politics, Fed policy and the fast-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, -1.45% slid about 500 points, or 1.5%, as of 2 a.m. Eastern. S&P 500 futures ES00, -1.50% were down 1.5%, or 68 points, while Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -1.46% slid 1.5%, or more than 200 points. Oil prices also sank, with front-month West Texas intermediate crude CL.1, -3.61% falling $2.82 a barrel, and Brent crude BRN00, -3.74%, the global benchmark, similarly off.

The Dow DJIA, -1.48% dropped more than 500 points, or 1.5%, on Friday, and the S&P 500 SPX, -1.03% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.07% following it lower. For the week, the Dow lost 1.7%, the S&P 500 dropped 1.9% and the Nasdaq tumbled 3%.

Last week’s losses came as investors weighed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish pivot, speeding up its reduction of monthly bond purchases and predicting three interest-rate hikes next year.

Markets also tumbled after President Joe Biden’s signature $2 trillion spending plan appeared doomed as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said on Sunday that he cannot support it — potentially handing Biden and Democrats a major political loss. Goldman Sachs downgraded their U.S. growth forecasts for 2022, citing difficulties in getting the spending bill passed.

Meanwhile, new COVID-19 cases are growing sharply in many parts of the world, fueled by the rapid spread of omicron. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he expects record cases of COVID-19 this winter, and urged people to get vaccinated and get boosters.

Wall Street has a shortened week coming up, with markets closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.

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