Dow drops 308 points as rising COVID-19 cases cloud economic-recovery optimism
- The S&P 500 and the
Dow Jones Industrial Averagemark their third declines in four sessions.
- European COVID-19 cases are rising and spurring more lockdowns in the region.
- US economic recovery continues but is 'far from complete,' says Fed Chairman Powell.
All three of Wall Street's major indexes fell, with losses picking up pace in afternoon dealings. The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials declined for the third time in four sessions. Tech stocks as tracked on the
Stocks struggled in the face of rising coronavirus cases in Europe. The higher case counts have prompted Germany, Europe's largest economy, to order lockdown measures over Easter and France has enacted more restrictions in the country.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Tuesday:
- S&P 500: 3,910.52, down 0.76%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 32,423.22, down 0.94% (307.98 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 13,227.70, up 1.12%
Meanwhile, Italy has issued new lockdowns. In the UK, the government in an effort to control cases is seeking to impose a £5,000 fine ($7,000) on people traveling outside of England without a valid reason. The worsening conditions in Europe pressured the demand outlook for oil, sending Brent oil prices sharply lower.
The US economy is seeing a lower amount of COVID-19 cases compared with Europe, alongside encouraging data and an improved rate of vaccinations, said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday.
"But the recovery is far from complete," he cautioned in remarks prepared for testimony to the House Financial Services Committee. The Fed "will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes."
AstraZeneca shares fell after US health officials raised questions about the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine, saying the company could have used some outdated trial data in its update about the formula.
GameStop fell before the video game retailer late Tuesday releases its first quarterly financial report since its Reddit-fueled rally in January. Meanwhile, Melvin Capital, the hedge fund at the heart of the GameStop frenzy, is facing nine lawsuits from retail investors who alleged a conspiracy to limit trading caused them to lose money.
While stocks have pulled back in recent session, the market's fear gauge, the Cboe VIX Volatility Index, is back at pre-pandemic lows, and it's signaling big upside ahead, says Fundstrat's Tom Lee.
Oil prices tumbled, with West Texas Intermediate crude down 6% to $57.60 per barrel. Brent, oil's international benchmark, was down 6.5% to $60.47.
Gold fell 0.6% to $1,727 per ounce as US treasury yields eased.
Bitcoin lost 2.5%, to trade at $55,328.
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