New York, Nov 18 (AFP/APP):Wall Street stocks fell for a second straight session Wednesday, tumbling after New York City ordered public schools closed with anxiety over the coronavirus deepening.
Equities were choppy throughout the day, but took a distinct downward path once New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the school closures after the city hit its target of a seven-day average coronavirus positivity rate of three percent.
The move came as US coronavirus cases tick higher, with Johns Hopkins University reporting nearly 162,000 new cases in the last day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 1.2 percent at 29,438.42.
The broad-based S&P 500 also shed 1.2 percent to 3,567.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.8 percent at 11,801.60.
“This is a tug of war between vaccine excitement and nervous trepidation” about the virus, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities.
Still, Hogan noted that stocks are still at a high level, with both the Dow and S&P 500 ending at records on Monday.
Among individual shares, Pfizer rose 0.8 percent as said it planned to apply for emergency use authorization of a coronavirus vaccine “within days” following clinical trials.
Boeing ended 3.3 percent lower after the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the 737 MAX to resume service following a 20-month shutdown. Shares had initially soared after the announcement, which had been widely expected.
Target climbed 2.4 percent after reporting a 41.9 percent jump in quarterly profits to $1.0 billion following strong sales at the big-box retailer.
Disney dipped 0.4 percent after S&P slashed the credit rating on the entertainment company, citing the drag from coronavirus on Disney’s theme park business.
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