Recognition…Alex Plavevski / EPA, via Shutterstock
The New York Stock Exchange said late Monday that it had reversed a decision to cancel China’s three major state-owned telecommunications companies.
The Big Board said it took the move after consulting the US Treasury Department.
Last week, the exchange announced that it would cease trading shares in China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile until Jan. 11 in response to an order from the Trump administration banning Americans from investing in companies tied to the Chinese military.
The statement gave no reason for the decision, though it appeared that the executive order may not require the exchange to delist the companies. The exchange announced that its regulatory department would continue to examine the applicability of the order to telecommunications companies.
The delisting would have had little practical impact on the companies, which also have Hong Kong-listed shares and are state-owned. Still, the disappearance from the American stock market had a high symbolic value for the deterioration in economic relations between China and the United States.
Wall Street started the year with a fall on Monday. The S&P 500 saw its sharpest decline in more than two months as it pulled out of record territory.
Analysts attributed the sell-off to a number of factors, including political unrest over Tuesday’s Georgia runoff that will determine control of the U.S. Senate, concerns about a resurgent coronavirus, and the simple need for investors to breathe after a break to insert stretch of sizzling profits.
It wasn’t clear that the break-in would last until Tuesday. Stocks in Asian markets remained stable early Tuesday as futures markets indicated that Wall Street would stabilize when it opened.
The index fell 1.5 percent, the steepest decline since late October. Stocks, which were most sensitive to investor sentiment over the coronavirus pandemic, drove the decline. Shares in Royal Caribbean Cruises, Wynn Resorts, Marriott International and Carnival all fell 5 percent or more.
Major benchmarks in Europe also gave up most of their early gains on Monday, although they managed to stay positive for the day. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7 percent and the FTSE 100 index in the UK rose 1.7 percent.
After European markets closed on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a tough new national lockdown as a more contagious variant of the coronavirus threatened to overwhelm the country’s beleaguered hospitals.
The variant is now present in the United States, where coronavirus cases and deaths have hit records in recent days.
The withdrawal on Monday also came after the S&P 500 rose more than 16 percent in 2020 and defied the economic crisis and human catastrophe of the pandemic when the Federal Reserve stepped in to support financial markets and Congress stepped up trillions on unemployment and business support programs issued vaccinations began showing a sustainable way out of the pandemic.
However, investors have always had to grapple with the still-spreading coronavirus pandemic, the risk of new lockdowns and political turmoil in the US.
On Tuesday, two runoff elections in the Georgia Senate will take control of the House of Lords of Congress and ultimately determine how difficult it will be for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to advance his agenda.
After the November presidential election, investors had expected Republicans to retain control of the Senate, which gave them the option to curtail the Biden administration’s ability to raise taxes or increase regulation.
That view had also helped boost stocks late last year, but Monday’s trading showed that investors were less confident of a Republican victory on Tuesday.
“The market fears that the Democrats will take both seats,” said Julian Emanuel, chief strategist for stocks and derivatives at brokerage firm BTIG. He said investors have been watching forecast markets closely for the past few days to give that outcome greater chance. “Basically, it is now a question of what the result will be tomorrow after the Republicans were heavily favored.”
Recognition…Doug Mills / The New York Times
Directors and other executives of many of America’s largest corporations called on Congress Monday to confirm Wednesday’s election vote to confirm the victory of Joseph R. Biden Jr. as president.
“Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the fundamental tenets of our democracy,” said a statement. The list of 170 signatories included Laurence D. Fink from BlackRock, Logan Green and John Zimmer from Lyft, Brad Smith from Microsoft, Albert Bourla from Pfizer and James Zelter from Apollo Global Management.
Over the weekend, President Trump called Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State to undermine the election results. On the taped call, the President pressured officials to “find” enough votes to undo Mr. Biden’s victory. The president’s request raised questions about whether he had violated the electoral fraud law, although charges were unlikely. President-elect Biden won the electoral college by 306 votes to 232, and the referendum was 81.2 million for Mr Biden to 74.2 million for Mr Trump.
Members of the president’s party disagree on whether to accept he lost the election: while top Republicans like Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell have pushed back a futile attempt in Congress to reject the results, around a dozen senators have and The elected senators have endorsed President Trump’s attempt to stay in power.
The urge from business leaders came on a volatile day for financial markets and just a day before the runoff elections in Georgia that will determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate. Coronavirus cases are on the rise and vaccinations are taking longer than hoped.
Business leaders questioned the new rift in Washington in a moment of grave uncertainty.
“Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment as we grapple with the worst health and economic crises in modern history,” wrote the business leaders. “There should be no further delay in the proper transfer of power.”
The statement, organized by Partnership for New York City, a corporate advocacy organization, came the same day that Thomas J. Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement calling for the vote to be confirmed .
“The efforts of some members of Congress to ignore certified election results in order to change the election result or to take a long-term political position undermine our democracy and rule of law and will only lead to further division in our country. Mr. Donohue wrote.
“The United States of America is facing enormous challenges that not only require an orderly transition of administrations, but also the focus of the new Biden administration and the new Congress and bipartisan cooperation,” he continued. “We urge Congress to fulfill its responsibility to count the votes, the Trump administration to facilitate an orderly transition for the future Biden administration, and all of our elected officials, their pandemic and pandemic forces To support our economic recovery. “