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Wall Street closes lower as shutdown worries overshadow vaccine hopes

Stock MarketsNov 18, 2020 04:10PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, New York City

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks lost substantial ground at the close of a see-saw session on Wednesday as investors weighed encouraging vaccine developments against surging COVID-19 infections and lockdowns.

While all three major U.S. stock indexes closed in the red, surging Tesla Inc (O:TLSA) shares helped cap the Nasdaq's loss.

"It's a confused market because portfolio managers don't know which time period to focus on," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. "It's this trade-off between the near term over the six to nine months of continued spread of the virus and the period after that when everyone's vaccinated and the virus is eradicated."

"There's a lot of issues out there but the decided bias has been toward value and cyclicals," Ghriskey added.

Pfizer Inc (N:PFE) and its German partner BioNTech (O:BNTX) revealed a 95% success rate at the conclusion of their COVID-19 vaccine trial, just days after Moderna Inc (O:MRNA) announced a similar rate of success in preliminary data from its vaccine candidate.

Market participants have been greeting vaccine developments with guarded optimism as global new infections soar to record levels, raising the possibility of increased restrictions as the economy struggles to recover from recession. The United States remains the country worst affected by the pandemic.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 345.91 points, or 1.16%, to 29,437.44, the S&P 500 (SPX) lost 41.81 points, or 1.16%, to 3,567.72 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) dropped 97.74 points, or 0.82%, to 11,801.60.

Third-quarter reporting season has reached the final inning, with 468 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported. Of those, 84.4% have surprised consensus to the upside, according to Refinitiv.

Boeing Co (N:BA) initially provided the biggest lift to the Dow after the Federal Aviation Commission green-lighted the planemaker's grounded 737 MAX aircraft to resume flights, but its shares later reversed course.

Shares of Target Corp (N:TGT) advanced after handily beating quarterly profit and sales estimates, which were boosted by a 155% jump in comparable digital sales.

Lowe's Companies Inc (N:LOW) dropped after the home improvement retailer forecast lower-than-expected holiday quarter earnings as it beefs up its online business and doles out employee bonuses to ease pandemic-related hardship.

Wall Street closes lower as shutdown worries overshadow vaccine hopes
 

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Comments (6)
Amine Fourali
Amine Fourali Nov 18, 2020 1:20PM ET
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I thought vaccine was already factored in....this is becoming ridiculous...
James Bell
James Bell Nov 18, 2020 12:47PM ET
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better hope those vaccines work as advertised once distributed. otherwise down we goooooooo
ed ward
ed ward Nov 18, 2020 12:28PM ET
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nothing like allowing planes with safety concerns to help jump-start the airline industry
ed ward
ed ward Nov 18, 2020 12:27PM ET
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for those unaware - and you can confirm on the CDC website - they are counting things such as suicide and drug overdose as "comorbidities" for covid deaths. anybody who goes into the hospital or dies for just about any reason and happens to test positive for covid gets counted towards the covid death total.  you can check the CDC website covid data for a list of comorbidities permitted for this counting. you could do the same thing for the common flu, test everybody for the common flu, including everybody who goes into the hospital, and if anybody dies you label them as a flu death than the amount of cases and deaths from the common flu would "skyrocket". its pure fear-mongering. meanwhile people shoving their faces with food, not exercising, and dying from drug overdoses and car accidents in the millions. COVID is a real virus, but the numbers are cooked for political purposes.
ed ward
ed ward Nov 18, 2020 12:27PM ET
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there is a reason that the total number of deaths in the US has not gone up significantly and the demographics of people dying match that of typical years. not sure how to tell people this, but millions of people died every year even before covid. covid seems to have magically cured every other disease though...i am sure has nothing to do with the federal subsidies states and hospitals are receiving for each covid case they have...
Keval Gala
Keval Gala Nov 18, 2020 12:10PM ET
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what good news does any American coman person got the vaccine shot ?? NOOOO it is all political game.. in USA cases are 1.5L per day.. and yes only country in the world with 2 president... hahahahaha 1 doesn't want to leave white house and another doesn't. gets the entry.. it's very difficult and worst situation to come in USA..
Wiley Spaller
Wiley Spaller Nov 18, 2020 10:13AM ET
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Good news with the Vaccine = the market will be green
 
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