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US stocks closed far lower after a late-session sell-off on Wednesday as investors weighed surging coronavirus infections and mounting shutdowns against encouraging vaccine developments. “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 and its German partner BioNTech revealed a 95 percent success rate at the conclusion of their COVID-19 vaccine trial, just days after Moderna Inc announced a similar rate of success in preliminary data from its vaccine candidate.
Market participants have been greeting vaccine developments with guarded optimism, but that is being tested as global new infections soar to record levels, and roll-backs of reopenings and new lockdowns continue to mount.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.16 percent and the S&P 500 .SPX lost 1.16 percent
All 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed in negative territory, with energy shares .SPNY suffering the biggest loss.
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