Stocks retreat from record as vaccine hopes give way to virus concern

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stocks retreated from a record on Tuesday as rising coronavirus cases raised concerns over fresh lockdown measures and dented recent optimism over promising vaccine trial results.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

U.S. stocks were lower in morning trade, a day after the Dow Industrials notched a record, as several states imposed new restrictions on gatherings amid climbing COVID-19 cases and the onset of colder weather.

Losses on the Nasdaq were curbed, however, by 8.73% jump in Tesla TSLA.O on news the electric car maker will be added to the S&P 500 in December.

Investors cheered positive vaccine trial results from Moderna MRNA.O on Monday, the second upbeat report on a coronavirus trial in a week.

Still, analysts have warned that absent a new fiscal stimulus package, the economy is likely to falter until a vaccine is available for distribution.

Data on Tuesday showed retail sales increased less than forecast in October, with the potential for even further slowing. Factory production accelerated but remained well below levels prior to the pandemic.

“There is conflict for the market between the near-term direction to the economy, which is troubled with the very high COVID-19 rates, and the future for the market, and that’s in which vaccines could provide an end to the restrictions,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments in New Vernon, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 231.74 points, or 0.77%, to 29,718.7, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 16.07 points, or 0.44%, to 3,610.84 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.87 points, or 0.01%, to 11,923.26.

European shares were also lower, as the STOXX 600 dipped after hitting its highest level in more than eight months on Monday, as Sweden moved to restrict the size of public gatherings and a British medical adviser suggested strengthening the three-tier system of restrictions when the full lockdown in England ends.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX lost 0.28% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.15% after closing at a record 613.61 in the prior session.

U.S. Treasury yields fell in the wake of the retail sales report as it underscored the possibility of a slowdown in the fourth quarter.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 9/32 in price to yield 0.8783%, from 0.906% late on Monday.

The U.S. dollar remained soft, touching its lowest level in a week, with expectations for continued weakness on expectations for more fiscal and monetary stimulus as well as optimism over a potential vaccine.

The dollar index =USD fell 0.149%, with the euro EUR= up 0.19% to $1.1875.

China’s central bank on Tuesday lifted its offshore yuan to its highest since June 2018, underpinned by solid gains a day earlier on the back of strong economic data.

(Graphic: China’s Yuan is surging: )

Crude prices fell back, as short-term demand concerns overshadowed vaccine hopes and the possibility of tighter supply policy from OPEC+ in 2021.

U.S. crude CLc1 recently fell 0.94% to $40.95 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $43.37, down 1.03% on the day.

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