U.S. Stocks Fall Hard



Stocks dropped on Thursday as Wall Street digested a strong rally this week along with the latest weekly jobless claims data.

The Dow Jones Industrials reversed course and fell 91.59 points to pause for lunch Thursday at 24,484.31.

The S&P 500 docked 18.58 points to 2,954.16.

The NASDAQ deleted 65.84 points to 9,309.94.

Amazon shares traded 1.8% lower after hitting a record high earlier in the session. Netflix slid 3.7% while Alphabet and Apple both dipped more than 0.7%.

The major averages entered Thursday’s session all up more than 3% week to date thanks in large part to state efforts to ease stay-at-home orders and begin lifting restrictions on business. Connecticut, for example, began on Wednesday to allow residents to dine in at restaurants with outdoor seating.

Sentiment has also been lifted by rising optimism around a potential coronavirus vaccine. Moderna said Monday that an early stage vaccine trial had shown positive results, with all 45 participants developing COVID-19 antibodies.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. Thursday’s report brings the total number of filings during the pandemic to more than 38 million. The number of continuing claims was at 25.07 million, its highest level on record.

To be sure, the latest figures show the pace of new filings has declined from previous weeks.

Rising tensions between China and the U.S. tempered market sentiment on Thursday. On Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill that could ban Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Baidu from listing on U.S. exchanges.

That measure was passed after President Donald Trump said in a tweet that the “incompetence of China” caused “this mass Worldwide killing,” referring to the coronavirus.

Shares of Alibaba dropped 2.8% along with JD.com. Baidu’s U.S.-listed shares dipped 1%.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury gained ground, lowering yields to 0.67% from Wednesday’s 0.68%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added 14 cents to $33.63 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices shed $31.60 to $1,720.50 U.S. an ounce.