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Markets

US stocks drop amid inflation fears, vaccine progress

  • About 35 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent to 31,483.11.
24 Feb 2021

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks declined early Wednesday as investor jitters over inflation risks offset optimism about progress on coronavirus vaccines.

Equities have been under pressure for the last week or so as yields on US Treasury notes have jumped in anticipation of greater inflation under the hefty US fiscal spending favored by US President Joe Biden.

However, investors also have been engaging in bargain hunting, which lifted the Dow and S&P 500 into positive territory by the close of Tuesday's markets.

Markets were cheered by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaling that interest rates will remain low for some time. Powell is scheduled for a second congressional hearing Wednesday.

About 35 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent to 31,483.11.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.4 percent to 3,864.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.2 percent to 13,303.65.

Investors were cheered by news from the US Food and Drug Administration that the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe Covid-19, including the South African and Brazil variants.

Johnson & Johnson rose 0.7 percent.