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People walk by the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Monday interrupted a stretch of calm amid the historic stock market boom underway since March 2020.

Driving the news: Jitters were apparent nearly everywhere.

  • Stocks swung at home: The Dow fell as much as 970 points, before rallying back 370 points. And the S&P finished 4% below its highest level ever.
  • Globally: Hong Kong stocks fell to the lowest point in nearly a year (other Asian markets were closed). Europe slumped too.
  • And then there’s Bitcoin. Prices fell as much as 10%.

One trigger: Massive China-based property firm Evergrande likely can’t make payments on its huge debt pile due this week.

  • It’s unclear how — or if — a default reverberates through the financial system.

Add it to the other factors analysts have been warning about during a historically bad month for the markets: the debt ceiling and spending impasse, the Fed timeline to ease pandemic-era support, and the Delta variant.

What they’re saying: “This market has experienced almost no downside volatility for a long time, and a pullback was long overdue,” says David Bahnsen of wealth management firm The Bahnsen Group.

  • A sign of the times: Some saw an opening, as social media suggested. “#BuyTheDip” was trending briefly on Twitter.

Go deeper

Yellen: Treasury will take "extraordinary measures" until Dec. 3 debt limit deadline

Janet Yellen. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned congressional leaders in a letter Monday that the Treasury will take "extraordinary measures" to manage its cash and not exceed the debt limit through Dec. 3, the earliest deadline for lawmakers to once again raise the debt limit or risk a default.

Driving the news: Congress last week averted a government default by raising the borrowing cap by $480 billion, after a protracted partisan battle.

2 hours ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.