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US close: Stocks slump on one-year anniversary of coronavirus-fuelled bull market

Tue 23 March 2021 21:02 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday, twelve months to the day that the Covid-19 pandemic bull market began as stocks tumbled 30% at the fastest pace in history.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.94% at 32,423.15, while the S&P 500 was 0.76% weaker at 3,910.52 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 1.12% softer at 13,227.70.

The Dow closed 308.05 points lower on Tuesday, reversing gains recorded in the previous session.

Tuesday's losses came as the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note continuing to retreat after hitting a 14-month high last week, currently sitting at around 1.63%.

In terms of Covid-19 headlines, a US health agency expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have been operating on outdated drug information in its coronavirus vaccine trial results. However, the firm defended its data.

Rising numbers of new coronavirus cases in 21 US states also put somewhat of a dampener on sentiment during the session, with travel and retail stocks heading south amid fears of further restrictions both at home and abroad.

On the macro front, new home sales in the US dropped more than expected in February as a result of violently cold weather in parts of the country, according to the Commerce Department, which said new home sales plunged 18.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 775,000 units last month, while January's sales pace was revised up to 948,000 units from the previous print of 923,000.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made their first joint appearance before the House Committee on Financial Services, with the pair acknowledging richly valued asset prices in the markets, but stating that they were not concerned about financial stability.

Powell also stressed that when the time to pull back on the central bank's multibillion-dollar asset purchases, it would communicate carefully and proceed with caution.

In the corporate space, Adobe topped quarterly earnings and sales estimates, while the much-talked-about GameStop missed on both earnings per share and revenues.

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