Nasdaq pulls back from record as US stocks retreat

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A view of the New York Stock Exchange on 26 June 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks tumbled on Tuesday (July 7), with the Nasdaq pulling back from a record as the equity rally paused amid surging US coronavirus cases.

All three major indices finished solidly lower, with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shedding 0.9 per cent to end a streak of three straight records at 10,343.89.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.5 per cent to 25,890.18, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.1 per cent to 3,145.32.

Major US indices had gained more than 1.5 per cent on Monday, with the Nasdaq finishing at a fresh record, betting that continued stimulus from Washington and moves to restart business activity would more than offset rising Covid-19 counts in Texas, Florida and other US states.

But in media interviews, Atlanta Federal Reserve president Raphael Bostic and Cleveland Federal Reserve president Loretta Mester both expressed concerns that rising Covid-19 infections were slowing the economic recovery.

"It makes people much more cautious," Mester told CNBC of conditions in her bank's region.

Sectors with big losses included large banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, both down around 3 per cent, and industrial companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar, which fell 4.8 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

But Walmart had a good day, rising 6.8 per cent following a report that the retail giant will soon launch a subscription service to compete with Amazon Prime.

Novavax jumped 31.6 per cent after the US announced it was providing US$1.6 billion (S$2.2 billion) in funding for the development and manufacture of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate produced by the biotech company.

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