Stocks Swoon as Shutdowns Ramp up

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Wednesday, weighed down by fresh signs of COVID-19’s ability to disrupt the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 344.93 points, or 1.2%, to 29,438.42.

The S&P 500 dumped 41.74 points, or 1.2%, to 3,567.79.

The NASDAQ flopped 97.74 points to 11,801.60.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said mid-afternoon that schools would close starting Thursday as the city’s coronavirus cases breached a key threshold.

Still, some investors are looking past what’s likely to be an increasingly grim winter: shares of airline companies like Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Holding were among the day’s biggest winners.

Pfizer released the final data on its vaccine candidate with BioNTech, which turned out even better than the initial data. The companies said the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 and fended off severe infection in the trial, adding that it plans to submit an application for emergency use authorization “within days.”

Stocks are having a strong month on the back of positive developments about Covid-19 vaccines. The Dow is up more than 12% and the S&P 500 is up more than 10% in November. The NASDAQ is up more than 9%, lagging as investors ditch technology shares for cyclical plays.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Tuesday’s 0.87%.

Oil prices dipped 19 cents to $41.63 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices lost $2.90 to $1,871.00