ANKARA

Major US stock market indexes opened Monday lower to start the new week on a down note as investors are worried amid a record number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Dow Jones was down 0.38% to 30,103 points at 09.50 a.m. EDT (1450 GMT), while the S&P 500 was at 3,692 points with a 0.17% loss.

The Nasdaq, on the other hand, was up 0.31% to 12,502 points led by Facebook and Tesla, which were each up by more than 2% at that time.

The US added more than one million COVID-19 cases in just the first five days of December, which came right after the Thanksgiving weekend between Nov. 26-29 when millions of Americans visited their families.

Number of new coronavirus cases hit 227,885 on Friday, marking the highest single-day figure during the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US still leads the world in cases with more than 14.7 million, and deaths with over 282,000 as of Monday, the data showed.

Investors were also worried about the possibility of another round of heightened tensions between the US and China, world’s two largest economies.

Washington could possibly impose some sanctions on Chinese officials amid their role in disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.

With fears of rising COVID-19 cases and higher US-China tensions, crude oil prices were down due to perceived weakness in short-term outlook of global oil demand.

Brent crude was at $48.67 per barrel and US’ West Texas Intermediate was at $45.69 a barrel, both down 1% each for the day.

Precious metals, which are seen as safe assets for investors, were up with gold gaining almost 1% at $1,854 per ounce, and silver at $24.45 an ounce with 1.06% increase.

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