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25 Mar 2021 | 07:43

US close: Stocks finish weaker amid renewed Covid concerns

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed below the waterline on Wednesday, having opened the day in positive territory, following a sharp sell-off in the previous session.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.01% at 32.420.06, while the S&P 500 lost 0.55% to 3,889.14 and the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.01% to 12,961.89.

The Dow closed 3.09 points lower on Wednesday, adding to the losses recorded in the previous session.

In focus, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note continued to slide, sitting well of recent highs at around 1.62%.

Rising Covid-19 cases across the globe were also in focus as multiple variants of the coronavirus continue to spread worldwide, with both Germany and France extending or enforcing new lockdown measures.

However, giving some hope to traders was news that the pace of vaccinations in the US was continuing to accelerate, with nearly one in five adults now fully vaccinated.

On the macro front, durable goods orders decreased 1.1% in February after jumping 3.5% in January, according to the Commerce Department, dragged down by a 1.6% drop in orders for transportation equipment, which followed a 7.5% surge in January.

Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 0.8% last month after gaining 0.6% a month earlier, while shipments of core capital goods dropped 1.0%.

Elsewhere, factory activity picked up in early March amid strong growth in new orders, according to IHS Markit, but supply chain disruptions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic continued to create cost pressures for manufacturers, likely keeping inflation concerns at the forefront of investors' minds.

IHS' manufacturing PMI increased to 59 during the first half of March, up from a final reading 58.6 for February, when activity took a hit from violently cold across much of the country.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's testimonies in front of the House Committee on Financial Services continued, after both acknowledged richly valued asset prices in financial markets but assured that they were not concerned about stability on Tuesday.

"I'd say that while asset valuations are elevated by historical metrics, there's also belief that with vaccinations proceeding at a rapid pace, that the economy will be able to get back on track," Yellen said.

Powell added that the US economic recovery from the pandemic had "progressed more quickly than generally expected and looks to be strengthening".

However, he cautioned that sectors of the economy hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic "remain weak" and stated that the unemployment rate "underestimates the shortfall", meaning the economy's recovery still had some way to go.

In the corporate space, mobile home maker Winnebago fell 7.41% even after it reported record quarterly revenues of $839.9m, while General Mills was off 4.2% after it fell short of earnings and announced the resumption of its share buyback programme.

The highly-touted and heavily-shorted GameStop plunged 33.79% after reporting solid quarterly earnings overnight, while retail trading platform Robinhood said it had filed an initial public offering amid the ongoing GameStop controversy, marking what would likely be one of the most closely watched flotations in 2021.

Dow Jones - Risers

Chevron Corp. (CVX) $104.70 2.68% Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $62.19 2.12% Honeywell International Inc. (HON) $212.22 1.74% American Express Co. (AXP) $138.75 1.72% Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $149.28 1.55% Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $221.23 1.37% 3M Co. (MMM) $190.69 1.25% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $161.91 0.97% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $292.75 0.96% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $150.62 0.78%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Nike Inc. (NKE) $133.16 -2.89% Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $209.53 -2.54% Intel Corp. (INTC) $62.04 -2.27% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $184.72 -2.12% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $120.09 -2.00% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $328.65 -0.94% Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $235.46 -0.89% Boeing Co. (BA) $239.24 -0.83% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $49.65 -0.72% Walmart Inc. (WMT) $133.11 -0.62%

S&P 500 - Risers

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH) $250.42 4.87% Eog Resources Inc. (EOG) $72.56 4.15% Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $121.10 4.06% Phillips 66 Common Stock (PSX) $82.03 3.86% Hess Corp. (HES) $69.08 3.17% Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG) $74.39 3.13% Kansas City Southern (KSU) $254.11 2.94% Nucor Corp. (NUE) $69.54 2.90% ConocoPhillips (COP) $53.15 2.90% Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) $27.42 2.81%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Discovery Inc. Class A (DISCA) $61.94 -13.59% Discovery Inc. Class C (DISCK) $54.54 -13.41% Macy's Inc. (M) $15.26 -5.16% Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) $25.31 -4.85% Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) $35.17 -4.79% eBay Inc. (EBAY) $57.64 -4.43% General Mills Inc. (GIS) $58.62 -4.20% Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $19.79 -4.07% QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM) $127.18 -4.03% Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $234.27 -3.90%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $121.10 4.06% Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $578.58 3.53% J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $159.53 2.30% Fiserv Inc. (FISV) $123.25 1.62% Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $552.45 1.48% CSX Corp. (CSX) $94.17 1.35% Fastenal Co. (FAST) $48.23 1.11% Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $651.56 0.95% Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) $76.94 0.93% Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) $65.66 0.91%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $239.19 -8.55%, Inc. (JD) $79.07 -5.32% Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $11.46 -5.05% Tesla Inc (TSLA) $630.27 -4.82% Group Limited (TCOM) $37.89 -4.66% eBay Inc. (EBAY) $57.64 -4.43% Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $246.07 -4.40% Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,387.85 -4.06% QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM) $127.18 -4.03% Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $234.27 -3.90%
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