Dow falls 457 points amid fears of coronavirus second wave
NEW YORK - U.S. equity markets slid Tuesday as members of President Trump's task force on the coronavirus testified before Congress signaling that virus risks remain as states reopen for business. Additionally, the CDC disclosed fresh data that showed an uptick in U.S. cases of the virus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 457 points, or 1.89 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 2.06 percent, snapping a six-day winning streak, and the S&P 500 dropped 2.05 percent. All three of the major averages had opened to modest gains but reversed with selling accelerating late in the session.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, during his testimony, advised against reopening local economies too quickly, without following the government's guidelines.
At least two states eased lockdown restrictions on Tuesday: Colorado allowed state parks to reopen campgrounds, and Ohio permitted consumer, retail and services businesses to restart operations with guidelines.
In California, Elon Musk received support from President Trump as he reopened his Tesla assembly plant.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration -- in a move tied to Beijing’s handling of COVID-19 -- wants the Thrift Savings Plan, a federal employee retirement fund, to pull its investments in Chinese companies, FOX Business has learned. The fund currently owns about $4 billion of Chinese shares.
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In merger news, reports circulated that Uber is eying GrubHub for a possible acquisition, sending shares of the latter soaring.
Elsewhere, Simon Property Group, the largest U.S. mall operator, announced plans to open about half of its locations within the next week.
Drugmaker Moderna gained fast-track approval from the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the review of its experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Separately, Novavax received $348 million of funding for trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, a non-profit founded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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In finance, PNC Financial announced plans to sell its entire 22 percent stake in BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.
On the earnings front, Casper Sleep reported mixed first-quarter results and said online sales grew as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to temporarily shut down its retail stores.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 6.79 percent to $25.78 a barrel while gold rallied to $1,704 an ounce.
U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 0.679 percent.
In Europe, France’s CAC fell 0.39 percent and Germany's DAX lost 0.05 percent while Britain’s FTSE added 0.93 percent.
Markets ended lower across Asia, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 1.45 percent, Japan’s Nikkei slipping 0.12 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite shedding 0.10 percent.
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