After moving sharply higher at the start of trading on Tuesday, stocks showed a significant downturn over the course of the session. The major averages pulled back well off their best levels before eventually closing in negative territory.
The Dow rose more than 900 points in early trading to reach its best intraday level in nearly month but ended the day down 26.13 points or 0.1 percent at 22,653.86. The Nasdaq also fell 25.98 points or 0.3 percent to 7,887.26 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.27 points or 0.2 percent to 2,659.41.
The initial strength on Wall Street came as traders reacted to recent signs that the spread of the coronavirus is slowing in hot spots such as New York.
President Donald Trump expressed optimism during the daily White House coronavirus briefing on Monday, saying, “There’s tremendous light at the end of the tunnel.”
Trump noted ten potential coronavirus treatments are currently in active trials, with some “looking incredibly successful.”
Buying interest waned shortly after the start of trading, however, with some traders likely seeing the upward move as overdone following the rally on Monday.
Stocks subsequently gave back ground in afternoon trading as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that coronavirus deaths in his state spiked by 731 on Monday, reflecting the biggest one-day increase.
Cuomo cautioned that the number of deaths is a lagging indicator, noting that the pace of growth in hospitalizations and intensive-care admissions has still slowed in recent days.
Pharmaceutical stocks showed a significant move to the downside over the course of the session, with the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index slumping by 1.7 percent after ending Monday’s trading at its best closing level in nearly a month.
Software, biotechnology and brokerage stocks also came under pressure as the day progressed, contributing to the pullback by the broader markets.
On the other hand, considerable strength remained visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 3.3 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.
Chemical, natural gas and banking stocks also finished the session notably higher despite the downturn by the major averages.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index shot up by 2.1 percent.
The major European markets also showed another substantial move to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index spiked by 2.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries climbed off their worst levels in afternoon trading but still extended the notable drop seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 6 basis points to 0.736 percent.
Trading on Wednesday may be impacted by reaction to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March meetings, which may shed additional lights on last month’s emergency interest rate cuts as well as the central bank’s unlimited expansion of its asset purchases.
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