After moving sharply lower at the start of trading on Thursday, stocks have seen further downside over the course of the session. The Nasdaq is pulling back off yesterday’s record closing high, while the Dow and the S&P 500 are extending the drop seen over the two previous session.
Currently, the major averages are lingering near their worst levels of the day. The Dow is down 1,167.78 points or 4.3 percent at 25,822.21, the Nasdaq is down 269.74 points or 2.7 percent at 9,750.60 and the S&P 500 is down 115.38 points or 3.6 percent at 3,074.76.
The sell-off on Wall Street comes amid concerns about a second wave of coronavirus cases, as recent data has led to worries about economic reopening leading to a spike in infections.
According to data CNN aggregated from the Covid Tracking Project, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations since Memorial Day has risen in at least a dozen states.
Texas reported 2,504 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, reflecting the highest one-day total in the state since the pandemic emerged.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has also passed the two-million mark, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, as businesses reopen, the Labor Department released a report showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended June 6th.
The report said initial jobless claims tumbled to 1.542 million, a decrease of 355,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1.897 million.
Economists had expected jobless claims to slump to 1.550 million from the 1.877 million originally reported for the previous week.
Jobless claims declined for the tenth straight week after reaching a record high of 6.867 million in the week ended March 28th.
A separate report from Labor Department showed a much bigger than expected increase in U.S. producer prices in the month of May.
Energy stocks continue to turn in some of the market’s worst performances in mid-day trading, moving sharply lower along with the price of crude oil. Crude for July delivery is plunging $3.25 to $36.35 a barrel.
Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is down by 10.7 percent, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is down by 7.4 percent and the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is down by 6.9 percent.
Substantial weakness also remains visible among steel stocks, as reflected by the 8.2 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index continues to give back ground after ending Monday’s trading at a three-month closing high.
Banking, transportation, chemical and commercial real estate stocks have also moved sharply lower on the day, reflecting the broad based sell-off on Wall Street.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 2.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.8 percent.
The major European markets also showed substantial moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index plunged by 4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index plummeted by 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are extending the strong upward move seen in recent sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 7.1 basis points at 0.677 percent.
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