U.S. stocks opened lower Monday as market professionals looked ahead to a busy week filled with multiple speeches from top Federal Reserve officials, which could provide more clues as to the timing of the central bank’s inevitable rate hike. Investors are also weighing a looming government shutdown in the middle of the week, followed by a highly anticipated employment report for September — due out Friday — that might shedding more light on whether the Fed will lift rates this year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 170 points, or 1 percent, to 16,145. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 25 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,906. The Nasdaq composite lost 74 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,613.
Nine of the 10 S&P 500 sectors traded lower, led by a more than 2 percent drop in healthcare stocks, while the utility sector rose just 0.2 percent. Dow components Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. led the index lower, shedding 2.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.5 percent, weighed down by losses in biotech stocks as the iShares Nasdaq biotechnology ETF sank 4 percent.