Stocks Falter as Downward Pressure Persists
Equity markets fell as the Dow shed 292 points.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market declined on Tuesday, as investors continued to evaluate a surge in Covid-19 cases against signs of an apparent slowdown in the economic recovery.
Wall Street’s major averages were lower at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 292.06 points, or 0.8%, to 34,577.57.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks declined 0.6% to close at 4,443.05. Most sectors finished in negative territory.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) fell 0.5% to settle at 15,037.76.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) was little changed on Tuesday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday high of 20.47 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle up 0.5% at 19.46.
In commodities, oil prices were higher on Tuesday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures gained 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $70.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, advanced 37 cents, or 0.5%, to $73.88 a barrel.
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In precious metals, gold prices rose, as the December futures contract rose $12.00, or 0.7%, to $1,806.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures rose 8 cents, or 0.4%, to $23.88 a troy ounce.
The Final Word: The U.S. economy appears to have hit a rough patch amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Investors expect more of the same as we head into the autumn season.