US close: Stocks add to losses as infections soar
Wall Street stocks finished weaker on Wednesday, after a session in which the major indices looked for direction following yesterday's losses.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.16% at 29,438.42, the S&P 500 also lost 1.16% to 3,567.79, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.82% weaker at 11,801.60.
The Dow closed 344.93 points lower on Wednesday, adding to the losses recorded in the previous session, after optimism surrounding another potential Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna seemingly failed to last longer than a single session.
Wednesday’s losses came amid an ever-increasing number of new Covid-19 infections across the US, with the country’s seven-day average surpassing 157,000 for the first time ever on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
That was another new record, and almost 30% higher than infection levels a week ago.
Also in focus was Donald Trump's continued refusal to concede the US election after he fired Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, after he stated that there was no basis to the president's claims that the election has been rigged in any way.
"The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud," Trump said in a tweet that was flagged as being "disputed" by Twitter.
On the macro front, mortgage applications in the United States fell 0.3% in the week ended 13 November, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, while applications to refinance a home loan fell 1.8% and homebuyer mortgage applications rose 3.5%.
"Housing demand remains supported by the ongoing recovery in the job market, and an increased appetite from households seeking more space because of the pandemic,” said Joel Kan, the MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
Still on data, homebuilding increased more than expected last month, indicating that the housing market continued to be sustained by record low mortgage rates.
According to the Commerce Department, housing starts rose 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53m units, while permits for future home building were unchanged at a rate of 1.545m.
In corporate news, Target was up 2.34% after it crushed estimates, thanks to new shopper habits helping the group gain market share, while Lowe's fell 8.16%, even after it revealed quarterly sales had increased 106%.
Boeing shares reversed earlier gains to close down 3.16%, despite the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on its 737 MAX following a 20-month grounding as a result of two deadly crashes.
Sonos lost 0.29%, Nvidia eked out gains of 0.05% and L Brands slid 5.16%, before all three reported earnings after the close.
Dow Jones - Risers
Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX) $69.51 0.93%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $36.32 0.78%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $172.74 0.48%
Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $30.52 0.00%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $224.30 -0.16%
Walmart Inc. (WMT) $149.09 -0.19%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $215.52 -0.23%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $143.90 -0.42%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $131.63 -0.44%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $134.37 -0.50%
Dow Jones - Fallers
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $38.23 -4.08%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $37.21 -3.78%
Boeing Co. (BA) $203.30 -3.21%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $84.28 -3.17%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $344.51 -2.16%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $52.61 -1.99%
American Express Co. (AXP) $114.24 -1.92%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $211.08 -1.58%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $139.70 -1.54%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $80.25 -1.53%
S&P 500 - Risers
Fluor Corp. (FLR) $14.69 4.93%
Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP) $19.77 4.27%
TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $26.57 3.75%
Coty Inc. Class A (COTY) $5.30 3.72%
Flowserve Corp. (FLS) $34.68 3.21%
FLIR Systems Inc. (FLIR) $38.31 2.90%
Johnson Controls International plc (JCI) $45.96 2.80%
FMC Technologies Inc. (FTI) $8.28 2.60%
Crown Castle International (CCI) $170.65 2.59%
Target Corp. (TGT) $166.85 2.34%
S&P 500 - Fallers
Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW) $146.74 -8.21%
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) $20.46 -7.25%
Centerpoint Energy Inc. (CNP) $23.75 -5.64%
Phillips 66 Common Stock (PSX) $60.75 -5.58%
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) $51.25 -5.36%
L Brands Inc (LB) $33.61 -5.19%
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) $454.18 -5.18%
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) $38.54 -5.10%
Sl Green Realty Corp. (SLG) $57.22 -5.04%
Newmont Corporation (NEM) $61.56 -4.60%
Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $486.64 10.20%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $75.71 1.80%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $95.64 1.50%
Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,318.09 1.33%
PACCAR Inc. (PCAR) $89.84 1.15%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $22.81 1.06%
O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY) $454.53 0.93%
Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $22.10 0.87%
Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) $111.30 0.76%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $48.53 0.41%
Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $38.23 -4.08%
Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $8.94 -3.97%
Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $33.69 -3.77%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $519.04 -3.55%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $123.47 -3.30%
Biogen Inc (BIIB) $240.98 -3.15%
Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $74.17 -3.08%
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) $74.70 -2.99%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $216.35 -2.96%
Hologic Inc. (HOLX) $70.01 -2.76%