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Stocks Sensitive Amid Taper Talk, Kabul Chaos

  • Equities were offered for much of the Monday session, with Wall Street opening lower and holding the losses into the Monday close. Tech-led NASDAQ was the underperformer, with cyclicals softer across the S&P 500 also. Defensive names including healthcare and utilities held recent gains more effectively, stemming the S&P500's losses to around 0.3%.
  • A broad sense of risk-off was evident across asset classes, with markets responding to the scenes of chaos in Kabul, Afghanistan as well as a WSJ report pointing to agreement among the FOMC for asset purchases to conclude as soon as mid-2022.
  • European trade was similarly negative, with continental markets down 0.3-0.9%. The UK's FTSE-100 lagged, dropping toward last week's lows.
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