Wall Street recoils as the COVID-19 epidemic progresses



par Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange ended lower on Friday over fears that federal support programs for the US economy would come to a halt as soon as the end of the year even as the outbreak caused by the new coronavirus is not weakening in the United States.

The Dow Jones index lost 219.75 points (-0.75%) to 29,263.48.

The larger S & P-500 lost 24.33 points, or 0.68%, to 3,557.54.

The Nasdaq Composite, with a strong technological component, fell 49.74 points (-0.42%) to 11,854.97 points.

During the week, the Dow lost 0.7% and the S & P-500 0.8% while the Nasdaq nibbled 0.2%.

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin has aroused the concern of investors by showing his willingness to put an end on December 31 to several programs launched since the start of the coronavirus crisis which allow the Federal Reserve to grant loans to businesses and local communities, thereby supporting the US economy.

These announcements came even as the power of the second epidemic wave in the United States has already led more than 20 states in the country to introduce various restrictions on movement or activity for the population and businesses.

Since the start of this health crisis in the spring, investors have oscillated at each sign of an acceleration or slowing down of the epidemic between cyclical values ​​and those likely to benefit from population lockdowns.

Thus this Friday, the specialist of video communications Zoom gained 6.11% while the aircraft manufacturer Boeing lost 2.94%.

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Still in the news related to the coronavirus crisis, but this time in the pharmaceutical field, Pfizer took 1.41% after announcing the filing of an emergency authorization request in the United States for its vaccine against COVID-19. The gain was more spectacular for its partner BioNTech, whose stock listed on the Nasdaq climbed 9.63%.

Gilead Sciences, on the other hand, yielded 0.86% due to the opinion of a committee of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) which spoke out against the use of remdesivir in the treatment of patients. of COVID-19 hospitalized.

(French version Bertrand Boucey)


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